Dubai World unit sues Singaporean tycoon

Drydocks World files court action against Tan Boy Tee over alleged breach of agreement.
Dubai World unit sues Singaporean tycoon
By Bloomberg
Wed 26 May 2010 07:32 AM

Drydocks World, Dubai World’s ship-repair unit, has sued Singaporean tycoon Tan Boy Tee for breaching an agreement tied to a $1.7 billion takeover deal.

Tan agreed not to compete with Drydocks in ship repair and related industries when he sold Labroy Marine, a Singapore-based shipyard operator he founded, to the unit of the Dubai state holding company in January 2008, according to filings with the Singapore High Court this month.

Tan bought a stake in Singapore shipbuilder Otto Marine earlier this year, according to a Feb. 4 statement from the company. The shares were bought in the name of Tan’s son, and were sold by March 10, according to the court documents.

Attempts to reach Tan, whose mobile-phone and home numbers aren’t listed, were unsuccessful. A business associate who asked not to be identified, said Tan will not comment on the lawsuit.

“The two sides are holding parallel discussions to see if the matter can be resolved,” said a Singapore-based spokesman for Drydocks, who declined to be identified because of the company’s policy.

Tan was Singapore’s 12th richest person last year with an estimated fortune of $650 million, according to a list compiled by Forbes magazine.

Labroy owned 37 hectares (443,000 square yards) of shipyards in Batam, Indonesia and a fleet of eight tankers and container vessels when Drydocks offered to buy it in October 2007. Tan quit as chairman in November that year.

Drydocks and DP World, the world’s fourth-biggest container-terminal operator, aren’t part of Dubai World’s $23.5 billion debt restructuring.

Allen & Gledhill LLP is representing Drydocks and Drew & Napier LLC is acting for Tan.

The case is Drydocks World LLC v Tan Boy Tee OS387/2010 in the Singapore High Court.

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