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China court dismisses OUE Lippo Healthcare unit's claims in share transfer dispute

A CHINESE unit of Catalist-listed OUE Lippo Healthcare is seeking legal advice after its claims against a former legal representative were dismissed by a Shanghai court, the board disclosed on Saturday night.

The subsidiary, Shanghai Yi Lin Medical Management Consulting, had sued former legal representative Fang Meiling for 3,000,000 yuan (S$604,400) in damages, over a commitment letter and share transfer agreement that she is alleged to have signed in breach of her duties to Shanghai Yilin.

But the OUE Lippo Healthcare board has now said that Shanghai Yilin was told by its Chinese counsel that the Shanghai Pudong New District Court has dismissed its claims against Ms Fang in the lawsuit.

Shanghai Yilin's application for judicial expertise to examine the share transfer agreement and application for an investigation order to investigate the original notarised copy of the agreement were both also said to have been dismissed by the court, according to the board.

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"Shanghai Yilin is obtaining legal advice from its (People's Republic of China) counsel on the steps going forward," said the OUE Lippo Healthcare board. "The company will make further announcements as and when there are any material developments concerning this matter."

The lawsuit against Ms Fang is related to a protracted legal tussle in 2017, when a Chinese company called Weixin Hospital Investment Management (Shanghai) sought an order for Shanghai Yilin to transfer its shares in another OUE Lippo Healthcare subsidiary, Wuxi New District Phoenix Hospital Co.

According to a board statement in December 2017, "Weixin alleged that this was to give effect to an alleged share transfer agreement between Shanghai Yilin and Weixin, as well as an alleged commitment letter provided by the then-shareholder and legal representative of Shanghai Yilin".

The Shanghai courts delivered a first-instance judgment in favour of Weixin - a decision that OUE Lippo Healthcare said at the time it would appeal against.