Aborted ASC sale: Kimly gets $1.4m advance repayment

Catalist-listed coffee shop operator Kimly has received an advance repayment of $1.4 million from the vendor in its aborted acquisition of Asian Story Corporation (ASC), which is under probe by the authorities.

The vendor is former Pokka Corp employee Wang Chia Ye and the first instalment of the repayment was due by Nov 29 this year. The outstanding balance of $2.6 million is repayable in two equal instalments of $1.3 million by Nov 29, 2020, and Nov 29, 2021. Mr Wang has already returned $12 million from the cancelled $16 million sale.

In a regulatory filing yesterday, Kimly said the security for the outstanding payments had been changed from ASC's shares and book debts to shares of quoted equity securities held by the vendor. Any dividends received from those securities will go towards repayment of the outstanding amounts, Kimly added.

In November last year, the company said its executive chairman Lim Hee Liat and executive director Chia Cher Khiang were under investigation by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Commercial Affairs Department for allegedly flouting the Securities and Futures Act.

Both were arrested and later released on bail.

Kimly cancelled its purchase of ASC, which it bought from Mr Wang for $16 million in cash.

It said it decided to cancel the deal after Pokka Corp gave six months' notice on Nov 22 to terminate its manufacturing agreement with ASC.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2019, with the headline 'Aborted ASC sale: Kimly gets $1.4m advance repayment'. Print Edition | Subscribe