Vallianz units face lawsuit over Swiber project

Papers have been filed in a court in India against two units of Singapore-listed engineering group Vallianz Holdings.

Vallianz said yesterday that the lawsuit from service provider Ocean Marine International seems to be regarding a project between Swiber Offshore (India) and India's state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

Vallianz is a former associate of beleaguered energy company Swiber Holdings.

Swiber Offshore had hired two Vallianz units - Offshore Engineering Resources and Vallianz Offshore Marine - for certain services.

Vallianz said Ocean Marine International was involved in some supplies related to the project.

Ocean Marine is claiming payment of about US$1.6 million (S$2.3 million) from Swiber Offshore and the two Vallianz units, and wants the Bombay High Court to grant an injunction preventing the three firms from moving their funds out of India before the case is resolved.

Ocean Marine also wants the companies barred from filing a claim against the supposed partners of Ocean Marine International in other jurisdictions.

It has demanded as well that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation pays what "it is contractually obliged to pay" to Swiber Offshore.

The two Vallianz units retained lawyers in India to represent them and ensure that they "are properly served with the filed court papers".

The firms say that the claims should be made against Swiber Offshore instead as none of the unpaid invoices are addressed to them.

Vallianz also announced yesterday that Vallianz Offshore Marine and an indirect subsidiary have been named as defendants - along with Swiber Offshore Construction and Newcruz Offshore Marine - in a lawsuit by ASL Shipyard Indonesia.

ASL is claiming payment from the four firms of about $1.9 million, and another $6.8 million related to interest, fees and damages.

These seem to be related to maintenance and repair works of a vessel chartered to Swiber Offshore Construction.

However, the two Vallianz units, which have hired Indonesian lawyers, said the claims do not involve them as the purchase orders were issued by Swiber Offshore Construction.

Shareholders will be updated on any developments.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2016, with the headline 'Vallianz units face lawsuit over Swiber project'. Print Edition | Subscribe