Singapore’s Court of Appeal dismisses appeals by two European banks against Asia Pacific Breweries

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Asia Pacific Breweries Pte Ltd on Thursday said that the Singapore Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of APBS in respect of the appeals filed by Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (“SEB”) and Bayersiche Hypo-und Vereinsbank Aktiengesellschaft (“HVB”) against the Singapore High Court ruling dated 1 September 2009. The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s ruling rejecting all claims made by SEB and HVB against the company, and ordering SEB and HVB to pay the Company its legal costs for defending the action.

The abovementioned Suits arose from claims that were part of the approximately S$117 million, which Chia Teck Leng fraudulently obtained from four banks, SEB, HVB, Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd (“Mizuho”) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (“Sumitomo”). Mizuho and Sumitomo withdrew their claims with costs payable to APBS during the course of the trial.

Commenting on the favourable ruling, Mr Roland Pirmez, CEO of Asia Pacific Breweries Limited said, “We are very pleased with the Court’s decision, which strongly reinforces the Company’s stand that APBS was itself a victim of fraud and is not responsible to repay loans which it had not authorised in the first place and which it knew nothing about. We are glad that this legal suit has come to an end with a final judgment that completely vindicates APBS.”

Pursuant to the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which is final, SEB and HVB’s claims of approximately USD 27 million and USD 32 million respectively against APB have been dismissed save for a ruling that APBS has to return to SEB a sum of S$347,671.123 that was transferred from SEB to APBS’s account. APBS did not dispute that this sum had to be returned to SEB in the SEB appeal. SEB and HVB have to pay APBS its legal costs for defending their respective High Court suits as well as appeals.

APBS would like to thank its lawyers, Drew & Napier LLC, for their counsel and efforts in defending the claims and appeals. APBS’s business is operating as usual and has not been in any way affected by the legal suits.