Yung Kee's goose looks to be cooked

HONG KONG • Iconic roast goose restaurant Yung Kee looks set to be liquidated after Hong Kong's highest court rejected an application yesterday to extend a deadline.

The liquidation deadline was set by the Court of Final Appeal last month to resolve a long-running family feud over control of the 73-year- old establishment.

Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma dismissed a last-minute application by third-generation Yung Kee scion Carrel Kam to extend the deadline, which expired yesterday.

Mr Kam told reporters outside the court that the request was only procedural and that the family was making plans to wind up the business, Apple Daily reported.

Yung Kee founder Kam Shui Fai, who died in 2004, left the bulk of the company's shares to his sons Kinsen and Ronald, who is Mr Carrel Kam's father.

The rest of the shares went to other family members. But they soon took sides, giving their shares to the respective brother they supported after a bitter fight over control of the business split the siblings. Kinsen's stake grew to 45 per cent, while Ronald had 55 per cent.

In 2010, Kinsen went to court in a bid to force his younger brother to buy his shares for an estimated HK$950 million (S$173 million) or liquidate the company. This was rejected by Ronald, whose children now run the restaurant.

As the liquidation deadline drew near, Ronald offered up to HK$1.1 billion for the shares. But the family of Kinsen, who died of cancer in 2012, believe they are entitled to HK$1.3 billion.

Kinsen's family had until midnight yesterday to respond positively. If not, Yung Kee will be officially wound up.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2015, with the headline 'Yung Kee's goose looks to be cooked'. Print Edition | Subscribe