Australian-listed Donaco International Limited has been granted an injunction by the Supreme Court of New South Wales to freeze the shares held by the Thai vendors of its Star Vegas casino resort in Cambodia.
Donaco is seeking damages of US$120 million from the vendors – named as Somboon Sukcharoenkraisri and his two sons Lee Bug Huy and Lee Bug Tong – for continuing to run gaming operations in defiance of non-compete provisions at Star Paradise, which is located adjacent to Star Vegas in Poipet.
The trio had previously been granted permission to host gaming facilities under the management of Donaco in a deal that saw the latter paid a monthly management fee of THB5 million (US$151,000), but that agreement expired in 2017 with no new management arrangements put in place. Under the terms of non-compete provisions, the vendor is not allowed to be involved in any other casino or gaming business in the Poipet area.
Donaco won an injunction via a Cambodian court in December to close Star Paradise casino and is continuing to pursue enforcement of its legal rights via arbitration proceedings in Singapore. Arbitration awards from Singapore can be enforced in both Cambodia and Thailand.
In a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange on Tuesday, Donaco announced that it has now been granted an ex parte interlocutory order in the nature of a Mareva injunction in NSW to freeze the Donaco shares held by the Thai vendors.
The order “restrains the defendants, by themselves and their servants and agents, from selling, disposing of or otherwise alienating their interest in the share capital of Donaco, until the final resolution and payment of any award of damages in the Singapore arbitration proceedings initiated by Donaco.”
The defendants own 148 million shares in Donaco, representing approximately 17.9% of the company’s issued capital.
The proceedings are listed again before the Supreme Court in Sydney on 6 April 2018 for a continuation of the interlocutory order.