Mary Chia unit ordered to pay over $580k to Japan JV partner

A wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-listed Mary Chia Holdings has been ordered to pay more than $580,000 in damages and costs over a joint venture gone sour.

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) also ordered that MSB Beauty, the joint venture formed by Mary Chia Beauty & Slimming Specialist and Japan's Slim Beauty House, be liquidated.

Mary Chia Holdings said in an exchange filing on Thursday that the unit was ordered to pay Slim Beauty House about $315,400 in damages for breaching the joint-venture agreement and around $269,000 in costs. It was also ordered to bear all relevant liquidation expenses.

The weight loss and beauty company, which may appeal against the SIAC's decision last Friday, had previously said that it did not believe that Mary Chia Beauty & Slimming Specialist breached the joint-venture agreement.

MSB Beauty was incorporated in Singapore in April 2015, with Mary Chia Beauty & Slimming Specialist holding 51 per cent of the issued share capital and Slim Beauty House the rest.

The joint venture was meant to focus on providing wellness services and consultations to Singapore consumers.

But Slim Beauty House initiated arbitration proceedings last August, claiming about $4.81 million over an alleged breach of the joint-venture agreement.

Mary Chia Holdings requested early yesterday that the trading halt which it had called for on Thursday, before it announced the SIAC decision, be lifted.

On Wednesday, the company had asked for more time to hold its annual general meeting for the financial year that ended March 31, 2017.

It said its closing of accounts had been delayed on the back of high staff turnover and that external auditors have only just begun their audit as a result.

The Singapore Exchange allowed the meeting to be moved from July 30 to Sept 15, subject to certain conditions.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 15, 2017, with the headline 'Mary Chia unit ordered to pay over $580k to Japan JV partner'. Print Edition | Subscribe