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Epicentre receives new statutory demand from 3 ex-directors

Epicentre receives new statutory demand from 3 ex-directors

Source: Business Times
Date Published: 13 Jun 2019
Author: Vivien Shiao

The company said that it is unaware of the interactions that its executive chairman and acting CEO Kenneth Lim - who has been uncontactable since May 24 - had with three of its earlier creditors.

Catalist-listed former Apple reseller Epicentre Holdings announced on Wednesday after trading hours that it received a new statutory demand from three of its former independent directors, namely Giang Sovann, Lim Jin Wei and Azman Hisham bin Ja'afar, for a sum of S$50,001 for outstanding directors' fees on June 11, 2019.

This is in addition to the three statutory demands dated May 21 and May 27 that were earlier received from three other creditors, said the company in response to queries from the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

The company said that it is unaware of the interactions that its executive chairman and acting CEO Kenneth Lim - who has been uncontactable since May 24 - had with three of its earlier creditors.

On the statutory demands dated May 21, Goh Chee Hong is claiming a sum of S$3 million arising from a loan that he provided to the company; ELush T3 (which runs Apple reseller iStudio) is claiming a sum of about S$0.42 million arising from outstanding trade debts.

The statutory demand dated May 27 was based on debts amounting to about S$1.56 million owed by the group to Mr Kenneth Lim, of which S$1.3 million was assigned to third creditor Jonathan Lim, executive director of Japan IPL Holdings, a subsidiary of Epicentre.

Epicentre said that it had intended to use the proceeds from a proposed placement of up to 79.7 million new shares to clear most of its existing liabilities, including the money owed to Mr Goh and ELush. The placement has since fallen through as Mr Lim has been uncontactable.

The company said that the independent directors were not notified of the statutory demands when first received on May 21 as Mr Lim had told the management that he would talk to Mr Goh to settle the two statutory demands, in view of the fact that the company was at the final stage of completing the proposed placement.

In relation to the third statutory demand dated May 27, the company said that its financial controller Ruth Xu was overseas at that time and that she returned on May 30. Management only became aware of it on May 30 and the independent directors were notified immediately.

Epicentre estimated that the outstanding borrowings of the group amount to approximately S$8.6 million, with the total debt (including loans and borrowings) amounting to about S$9.8 million.

The group said that its independent directors are currently working with major creditors to work out a plan to facilitate the repayment to the creditors of the company.

When news of Mr Lim's disappearance and the statutory demands first broke on May 30, the company had said that the developments raise issues in terms of the group's ability to continue as a going concern.

An independent review of Epicentre's FY2017 accounts had also found "governance and internal control issues" relating to agreements Mr Lim was involved in that might have breached listing rules.

Trading in Epicentre's shares has been suspended since May 30.

Source: Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

 

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