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Federal Court dismisses Mega Continental's leave application to appeal in lawsuit by AEON BiG

KUALA LUMPUR (May 17): AEON BiG (M) Sdn Bhd said today Malaysia's Federal Court on April 20, 2021 dismissed Mega Continental Sdn Bhd's leave application to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision to uphold the Penang High Court's ruling in a lawsuit initiated by hypermarket operator AEON BiG against Mega Continental involving the lease of a property in Bandar Alor Setar, Kedah.

In an emailed statement to theedgemarkets.com today, AEON BiG legal head Vincent Ng said the lawsuit, which was originally initiated by AEON BiG at the Penang High Court, involved the declaration of the agreement to lease, whereby the Penang High Court ruled that the agreement was in fact a monthly tenancy, which was in favour of AEON BiG.

"Mega Continental was not happy with the decision and appealed to the Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeal on Dec 11, 2020.

"Mega Continental subsequently applied for leave to appeal from the Federal Court and it was dismissed by the Federal Court on April 20, 2021," Ng said.

The Federal Court is Malaysia's highest court and final appellate venue.

Ng was responding to theedgemarkets.com's request today for clarification on AEON BiG's press statement, which was issued earlier today.

AEON BiG said in the press statement that following the Federal Court's decision to dismiss Mega Continental's leave application, Mega Continental does not have any right to appeal to the Federal Court against the Court of Appeal's decision to dismiss Mega Continental's appeal on Dec 11, 2020.

According to AEON BiG today, the Penang High Court's declaration order obtained by AEON BiG on Nov 8, 2019 was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal on Dec 11, 2020.

AEON BiG said the Penang High Court's declaration order stated that the agreement to lease signed by AEON BiG and Mega Continental for the property located in Bandar Alor Setar was a monthly tenancy instead of a 10-year lease as the state authority did not grant its consent under Section 433B of the National Land Code within the required conditional precedent period under the agreement.

On a separate case, AEON BiG's statement said today that on Aug 6, 2020, the Alor Setar High Court set aside the judgement in default obtained by Mega Continental on June 9, 2020.

Under the judgement in default,  AEON BiG said Mega Continental is claiming from AEON BiG a judgement sum of RM142 million.

"The judgement in default obtained was based on the alleged unlawful termination of the agreement for the then, AEON BiG Alor Setar store.

"Subsequently, AEON BiG has filed an application to strike out the aforesaid suit. This case has been transferred to the Penang High Court on April 6, 2021 and the hearing of this case has yet to be fixed," AEON BiG said.

Despite the challenges, AEON BiG claimed today it remains steadfast to continue growing its presence and serving its customers by offering the best standard of customer experience as well as quality products with great value and wide choices.

"This year, AEON BiG expects to see an operating profit of two times more than last year. In 2020, AEON BiG started the B2B (business-to-business) segment which generated a revenue of RM50 million and it will continue to focus on this segment, targeting a revenue of RM300 million this year. 

"The company is committed towards building the business to achieve better performance and it is confident of accomplishing even better results in the coming years," AEON BiG said.

AEON BiG was originally known as Magnificient Diagraph Sdn Bhd.

According to AEON BiG's website, Japan-based AEON Co Ltd purchased the shares of Magnificient Diagraph on October 31, 2012. 

Pursuant to the acquisition, Magnificient Diagrap's name was changed to AEON BiG, according to AEON BiG's website.

AEON BiG, which currently operates 22 hypermarkets across Malaysia, said the acquisition was part of AEON Group's plans to expand its business in Southeast Asia.

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