Donaco International Limited has won a ruling by the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, preventing the Thai vendors of its Star Vegas casino in Poipet from seizing assets of the business.
The ruling follows two attempts by the vendors to seize various Star Vegas assets which Donaco says was likely as security against the vendors’ claim for a management fee dating back to 2017. The vendors had also attempted to freeze Donaco’s Cambodian bank accounts, with those attempts rejected by the lower courts on two previous occasions in July 2019 and January 2019.
In a filing early Wednesday morning, Donaco said an appeal of the second ruling to the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh has now also been ruled in Donaco’s favor, leaving the vendors with no further avenues of appeal on the matter.
Encouragingly for the ASX-listed firm, the Appeal Court is the same court that will rule on Donaco’s own appeal against a recent Cambodian lease arbitration decision.
The long-running dispute between Donaco and the Thai vendors comes after the latter was originally granted permission to host gaming facilities in a neighboring property to Star Vegas in a deal that saw Donaco 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.
When Donaco objected to the continuation of gaming operations in defiance of non-compete provisions, the vendors threatened to terminate Donaco’s Star Vegas land lease.
Donaco is currently seeking damages of US$190 million from the Thai vendors in a Singapore court, while Australian authorities have placed a freeze order on the sale or movement of shares held by the vendors.