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SPH files amended defence and counterclaim in StreetSine litigation case

Singapore

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) on Tuesday said that it has filed an amended defence as well as a counterclaim for a lawsuit against it by Samuel Cranage Baker and Jeremy Lee Chuen Yang. The two plaintiffs have commenced legal proceedings against SPH and its wholly-owned subsidiary SPH Interactive (SPHI) for alleged minority oppression.

SPHI had acquired a 60 per cent stake in StreetSine Technology Group (SSTG) in 2014. Mr Baker and Mr Lee each hold a 20 per cent stake in SSTG.

SSTG is currently seeking to be placed under judicial management.

In an announcement providing litigation updates on Tuesday evening, SPH said that the plaintiffs Mr Baker and Mr Lee had obtained leave from the High Court of Singapore on June 16 to amend their claim.

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The plaintiffs have alleged, among other things, that Leslie Fong Yin Leong is a party to an alleged conspiracy of SPH, SPHI and Jason Barakat-Brown to oppress the plaintiffs.

Mr Fong is the chairman of SSTG and Mr Barakat-Brown its CEO.

SPH, which publishes The Business Times, said that Mr Barakat-Brown has also filed an amended defence to the claim.

To date, Mr Fong has not filed his defence.

Meanwhile, Mr Baker and Mr Lee have not filed their replies to the defences filed by SPH, SPHI and Mr Barakat-Brown.

SPH and SPHI have filed a counterclaim against Mr Baker and Mr Lee for various liabilities relating to taxation accrued by SSTG and its wholly-owned subsidiary prior to SPHI's acquisition of SSTG in 2014.

SPH said it believes the allegations by the plaintiffs are "unmeritorious and groundless".

It also said the claim is not expected to have a material impact on SPH for the current financial year ending Aug 31, 2020.

Units of SPH closed at S$1.30 on Tuesday, down one Singapore cent or 0.8 per cent.

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