BreadTalk founder may seek arbitration over Taiwan investment

BreadTalk group executive chairman and founder George Quek (centre) attending a conference on the dispute over the ownership of Pacific Distribution Investment at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Wednesday.
BreadTalk group executive chairman and founder George Quek (centre) attending a conference on the dispute over the ownership of Pacific Distribution Investment at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Wednesday.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

BreadTalk group executive chairman and founder George Quek is mulling over taking an investment dispute in Taiwan into arbitration, though it is unclear at this stage where this might happen.

This comes after Mr Quek's plan to take over Taiwan's Pacific Sogo department stores ran into complications, reported Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao yesterday.

He and long-time business partner Weng Chun-chih had acquired the bulk of Taiwanese businessman Lee Heng-lung's stake in holding company Pacific Distribution Investment through a company registered in June in both their names, called Clover. Pacific Distribution operates the Pacific Sogo department stores.

Mr Weng is the largest individual shareholder of Tonlin Department Store in Taiwan.

But the deal, reportedly worth at least $275 million, has hit a bump, with another contender - Mr Douglas Hsu - claiming that he has the majority stake in Pacific Sogo following an injection of capital into Pacific Distribution.

Mr Hsu was accused in 2006 of forgery and breach of trust regarding the management takeover of Pacific Sogo. He was acquitted in 2008.

Mr Quek disputes Mr Hsu's claim and has threatened to seek recourse under the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership.

Mr Quek held a talk chaired by Associate Professor Hu Po-Yen of Soochow University, an expert on Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, on Wednesday.

Aw Cheng Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 20, 2019, with the headline 'BreadTalk founder may seek arbitration over Taiwan investment'. Subscribe