Ad agency to be wound up over $1m debt

Set up in 1974, Adcom is owned by entrepreneur Adam Khoo (left) and his father Vince Khoo.
Set up in 1974, Adcom is owned by entrepreneur Adam Khoo (above) and his father Vince Khoo.ST FILE PHOTO

High Court order comes after SPH files winding-up application against Adcom over failure to pay its debts

The High Court yesterday ordered advertising agency Adcom to be wound up over a $1 million debt it owes media firm Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) after being sued by the publisher.

Adcom, which was represented in court by Mr Andre Arul, did not contest the winding-up application brought by SPH, which was represented by Ms Priya Gobal.

The agency, set up in 1974, is owned by well-known entrepreneur Adam Khoo and his father Vince Khoo. Both are also directors of the private limited company.

In January 1999, SPH and Adcom signed an agreement in which the publisher agreed to publish advertisements on behalf of the agency.

Under the written agreement, Adcom, as the advertiser, must make payment no later than 45 days after the date of SPH's invoice for the advertising services.

The agreement also states that if payment is late, Adcom has to pay SPH interest of 0.75 per cent per month until full payment is made.

Between October last year and February this year, SPH issued various invoices and debit notes to Adcom for advertising services and late payment surcharges. Slightly over $1 million remained unpaid.

In March this year, SPH sued Adcom over the unpaid invoices and debit notes. Adcom countersued SPH. It contended that SPH had breached its oral agreement not to strictly enforce the terms of the 1999 agreement.

Adcom also claimed that SPH had contacted the agency's clients and induced them to breach their contracts with the agency.

On July 21, SPH was granted summary judgment for its claim for $1 million. This was not opposed by Adcom, which discontinued its counterclaim on Aug 8.

On the same day, SPH issued a statutory demand to Adcom, giving it 21 days to pay the judgment sum as well as interest and legal costs. But no payment was made by the Aug 29 deadline.

On Sept 13, SPH filed a winding-up application against Adcom, on the basis of the agency's inability to pay its debts under the Companies Act.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2016, with the headline 'Ad agency to be wound up over $1m debt'. Print Edition | Subscribe