Re Conchubar Aromatics Ltd and other matters

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeAedit Abdullah JC
Judgment Date17 December 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] SGHC 322
Citation[2015] SGHC 322
Hearing Date10 December 2015
Published date05 March 2016
Docket NumberOriginating Summons Nos 1064, 1065 and 1066 of 2015
Plaintiff CounselVergis Abraham and Danny Quah (Providence Law Asia LLC)
Subject MatterCompanies,Schemes of arrangement
Aedit Abdullah JC: Introduction

The three applicant companies applied for and were granted interim stay of proceedings under s 210(10) of the Companies Act (Cap 50, 2006 Rev Ed) (“the Companies Act”) for 10 weeks or until earlier discharged, ahead of any application for the calling of a creditors’ meeting under s 210(1). A Malaysian decision, Re Kuala Lumpur Industries Bhd [1990] 2 MLJ 180 (“Re KL Industries”) is authority that this can be done. Apparently, although similar orders have been made in Singapore (see for instance the commentary in Woon’s Corporations Law (LexisNexis, Looseleaf Ed, 2005, July 2012 Release) (“Woon’s Corporations Law”) at para L [152]), the matter has not been addressed in written grounds. As the commercial discussions were still being pursued, the commercially sensitive details have been omitted.

Brief Background

The three applicant companies, Shefford Investments Holding Limited, UVM Investment Corporation, and Conchubar Aromatics Limited, were shareholders in Jurong Aromatics Corporation Pte Ltd (‘JAC”). These shareholdings, as well as shareholdings in SK E&C Jurong Investment Pte Ltd, were the primary assets of the applicants.

JAC ran into difficulties, eventually being put into receivership in September 2015. The Applicants themselves were similarly in some difficulty. While JAC and the Applicants faced difficulties, the Applicants hoped that a restructuring proposal would rehabilitate their position.

The Application

As matters were still being negotiated and discussed among various parties, a moratorium was necessary to protect the Applicants’ ability to continue their efforts at restructuring. The Applicants argued that a restraint order under s 210(10) of the Companies Act could be granted independent of the calling of a meeting under 210(1), citing Re KL Industries. It is authority for the proposition that a restraint order may be issued if there is a proposal which gives more than a general layout of the scheme and the applicant was acting bona fide. The fact that the applicants were foreign companies would not obstruct the granting of a moratorium, as there was sufficient nexus to Singapore such that these companies were liable to be wound up under the Act: Re TPC Korea Co Ltd [2010] 2 SLR 617 (“Re TPC”) at [12].

In the present case the restructuring proposal put forward to the Court was sufficiently particularised to merit due consideration by the creditors. The restructuring would confer some benefit to the Applicants' creditors, who would otherwise obtain nothing. Bona fides was shown by the fact that the restraint was to be operative for as short a period as possible to allow discussions to be finalised as to the proposal and the s 210(1) application to be filed and heard. No prejudice would occur to the Applicants' creditors if the order was granted.

A creditor, SK Engineering & Construction Co, Ltd appeared, but did not contest the application for the moratorium at this time.

The...

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3 cases
  • Re Pacific Andes Resources Development Ltd and other matters
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 27 September 2016
    ...of Navigator Holdings plc [2007] 1 AC 508 (refd) Codere Finance (UK) Ltd, Re [2015] EWHC 3778 (Ch) (folld) Conchubar Aromatics Ltd, Re [2015] SGHC 322 (folld) Contel Corp Ltd, Re [2011] SC (Bda) 14 Com (refd) Drax Holdings Ltd, Re [2004] 1 WLR 1049 (refd) GAE Pty Ltd, Re [1962] VR 252 (not ......
  • Re IM Skaugen SE and other matters
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 27 November 2018
    ...on a prior application to convene a scheme meeting under s 210(1) having been made (see Re Conchubar Aromatics Ltd and other matters [2015] SGHC 322 (“Conchubar”) at [8]–[11]). Second, and as a consequence of the first, the proposed compromise or arrangement was not required, for the purpos......
  • Re Taisoo Suk (as foreign representative of Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd)
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 14 September 2016
    ...to the present, as no plan with sufficient particularity had been produced yet: see Re Conchubar Aromatics Ltd and other matters [2015] SGHC 322. The differences between our regime and that in Korea may seem incongruous. However, such differences should not be a bar to recognition and assis......

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