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Court of Appeal dismisses Sunsea filing, paves way for Keppel's divestment

THE Court of Appeal has dismissed an application filed by Sunsea Yacht Club (Hong Kong), removing a roadblock to Keppel Corporation's planned divestment of a stake in a China marina project.

Keppel Corp said after Monday's trading hours that the Court of Appeal has dismissed the application, with costs awarded to its two units, Keppel Land China Ltd and Keppel China Marina Holdings Pte Ltd.

The Court of Appeal has also discharged the High Court's order made on Dec 22 to restrain Keppel Land China from completing the divestment. The conglomerate said that with this outcome, Keppel Land China will now take appropriate steps to complete the divestment.

Sunsea Yacht Club owns 20 per cent of Keppel Cove, a residential and marina development in Zhongshan City, China. Keppel China Marina Holdings, which Keppel is attempting to sell to Hong Kong-listed Logan Property, owns the remaining 80 per cent.

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Sunsea started legal action in November to block Keppel's sale. On Dec 15, the Singapore High Court dismissed Sunsea's summons for interim relief to prevent the sale from happening. On Dec 22, Sunsea sought the High Court's permission to appeal against the dismissal of the summons for interim relief, but was denied by the High Court and ordered to pay costs.

But Sunsea told the High Court that it plans to go to the Court of Appeal to appeal the Dec 22 decision. The High Court has therefore allowed an application by Sunsea to restrain Keppel from completing the divestment until Sunsea's application with the Court of Appeal has been addressed by the higher court.

If the deal goes through, Keppel will be able to recognise a gain of about S$290 million.