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Epicentre gets new statutory demand from ex-IDs, responds to SGX queries

EPICENTRE Holdings announced on Wednesday 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.

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, and ELush T3 (which runs Apple reseller iStudio) is claiming a sum of about S$0.42 million arising from outstanding trade debts.

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The statutory demand dated May 27 was based on debts amounting to approximately S$1.56 million owed by the group to Mr 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 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.