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Lye seeks injunction to block 2nd EGM called by Low

KUALA LUMPUR: A party linked to Ho Hup Construction Co Bhd’s deputy executive chairman Datuk Vincent Lye has filed for an injunction to block an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) scheduled for March 17, said a source.

The application for the injunction will be heard on Monday (March 15), two days before the meeting.

The EGM is the highlight of the tussle between Lye and Datuk Low Tuck Choy, former managing director of Ho Hup and the eldest son of the company’s founder.

Low, who claimed he was ousted by Ho Hup’s current board led by Lye in 2008, had called for the EGM to remove seven out of eight directors in the company (except for his younger brother Low Teik Kien), in order for him to push for an “alternative” restructuring scheme to be implemented.

Low is pushing for the alternative scheme against the incumbent board’s proposed restructuring-cum-capital reduction exercise, which he claimed would significantly dilute his family shareholdings of 24.6% in Ho Hup.

This is Low’s second attempt to remove the current board of Ho Hup led by Lye.

In fact, the EGM was supposed to be carried out on Feb 4 but it cancelled at the eleventh hour with Lye’s faction having obtained an injunction order from the court.

The court had last month granted an injunction to block the first EGM called by Low on the ground that Low didn’t give enough notice period (minimum of 28 days) for the meeting, thus breaching the technical requirement.

Apart from insufficient notice, Lye’s faction had also argued that Low had breached the Takeover Code, and claimed that his intention to remove Ho Hup’s present board was for “collateral purposes”, as the new directors would not investigate alleged wrongdoings in the company during his tenure.

Coming back to the EGM that is scheduled on March 17, it is not known what ground Lye’s faction would use in their application for an injunction to block the meeting.

Presumably, the previous ground of insufficient notice would not apply this round given that Low had published the notice of EGM on Feb 11.

But whether or not the attempt to block the EGM is successful, investors could be assured of more drama to unfold between the two parties in the coming week.

This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, March 10, 2010.
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