Court orders firm linked to Sakae to wind up

Liquidators will assess Gryphon Capital, bring appropriate claims

The High Court has ordered that an associate firm of Sakae Holdings be wound up by consent.

Sakae, which owns the Sakae Sushi chain, said yesterday that its liquidators will assess the Gryphon Capital Management (GCM) unit and "bring such claims as they consider appropriate". The order comes after the most recent legal tussle in April involving GCM, which also manages the property investments of another Sakae associate firm called Griffin Real Estate.

The firm added yesterday that in the light of the High Court's order, a Sakae claim against Gryphon shareholder ERC Holdings, former Sakae director Andy Ong and his associate, Mr Ong Han Boon, will no longer proceed.

The latest ruling follows a legal skirmish that began in 2013, culminating in a seven-week trial last year in which Sakae accused Mr Andy Ong of breaching his fiduciary duties while a director.

On April 7, High Court Justice Judith Prakash ordered Mr Andy Ong and associates Ong Han Boon and Ho Yew Kong to pay about $35 million to Griffin Real Estate Investment. Sakae is a minority shareholder in this company.

Mr Andy Ong was also ordered to pay Sakae $2.64 million.

READ MORE: Court rules in favour of Sakae founder

The sushi chain owner reported in its second-quarter financial results released on Aug 14 that the non-operating income included $3.2 million from Mr Andy Ong.

This was the $2.64 million and interest from Feb 8 in 2013 to May 5 this year, Sakae had said.

After offsetting legal fees incurred by Sakae, its non-operating income was $2.9 million.

Griffin Real Estate's property investments include Bugis Cube, a commercial property at 470 North Bridge Road.

Sakae had also brought a suit against various people who allegedly conducted the affairs of Griffin Real Estate "in a manner that is oppressive and prejudicial" to the interests of Sakae.

READ MORE: Sakae seeks to rebound after legal woes

Sakae founder Douglas Foo and Mr Andy Ong had been friends since their national service days and had made their names as successful businessmen by 2010.

However, the friendship fell apart after Mr Andy Ong invited Mr Foo to participate in a property development investment with him.

Mr Foo had said in April he was "relieved that justice is served".