The Wellness Group loses appeal against Osim over TWG Tea

Mr Manoj Murjani (left) and Mr Taha Bouqdib, founders of home-grown brand TWG Tea. The Wellness Group, which Mr Murjani is chairman and founder, lost an appeal against against the chief of lifestyle company Osim International and others.
Mr Manoj Murjani (left) and Mr Taha Bouqdib, founders of home-grown brand TWG Tea. The Wellness Group, which Mr Murjani is chairman and founder, lost an appeal against against the chief of lifestyle company Osim International and others.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Wellness Group has lost an appeal against the chief of lifestyle company Osim International and others.

In April, the Singapore High Court had dismissed claims by The Wellness Group and its chairman and founder Manoj Murjani for minority oppression and conspiracy to injure in relation to the lifestyle firm's shares in TWG Tea. The Wellness Group then brought the case to the Court of Appeal.

In separate press releases on Monday (Oct 31), Osim and TWG Tea said the Court of Appeal has ordered The Wellness Group to pay the costs of the unsuccessful appeal.

The dispute goes back to 2011, when Osim, which sells healthy lifestyle products such as massage chairs, invested in TWG Tea. The gourmet beverage firm was launched in Singapore in 2007 as a subsidiary of The Wellness Group - a company founded by Mr Murjani - which invests in and promotes spas and health and wellness products.

Osim bought an initial 35 per cent stake in TWG Tea in April 2011. A key issue was Osim's subsequent share subscription in TWG Tea in January 2014, which increased its overall stake to 69.9 per cent of the shares in TWG Tea. Osim is TWG Tea's majority shareholder, while The Wellness Group is a minority shareholder.

Mr Murjani had resigned from the board and as chief executive officer of TWG Tea in August 2012.