Founder of beauty treatment chain PPP Laser Clinic allowed to join competing firm

The PPP Laser Clinic at Bishan MRT station. Dr Goh Seng Heng launched the PPP brand with his daughter, Dr Michelle Goh, in 2011.
The PPP Laser Clinic at Bishan MRT station. Dr Goh Seng Heng launched the PPP brand with his daughter, Dr Michelle Goh, in 2011. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The founder of aesthetic treatment chain PPP Laser Clinic, who is embroiled in a legal battle with the company he started, was on Thursday (April 13) allowed to work for a competitor he had set up with his daughter.

This came after the Court of Appeal lifted an injunction which had restrained Dr Goh Seng Heng and his daughter Dr Michelle Goh from joining Quikglow, an outfit they had set up in March 2013.

The Gohs also won their appeal to lift a Mareva injunction that froze their assets up to the value of $40 million.

Dr Goh, who earned between $11 million and $18 million a year from his upscale aesthetics clinic at Paragon Medical, launched the PPP brand with his daughter in 2011 after she had an idea to bring such services to the heartlands, the court was told yesterday.

Others later invested in the business.

 
 

In 2015, Dr Goh, who with Michelle hold a 13.31 per cent stake in Aesthetic Medical Partners, the parent of Aesthetic Medical Holdings, which operates the PPP chain, sued seven shareholders who controlled 63.47 per cent of the company. He alleged that they reneged on their promise to give him their voting rights.

In February last year, he announced that he was stepping down from the Aesthetic Medical group, citing the reason that the company was being "driven by the wrong values" under the leadership of new investors.

The company then sued Dr Goh, his daughter and their company Quikglow for breach of fiduciary and contractual, alleging that Quikglow provides services similar to PPP's.

Quikglow, originally set up in 2013 as Dr Michelle Goh Pte Ltd, was renamed in 2015.

Under this suit, the group succeeded in applying for a Mareva injunction to freeze the assets of the three defendants as well as an injunction to stop them from joining Quikglow and engaging in the same or similar business.

Arguing against the Mareva injunction on Thursday, the Goh's lawyer, Mr Adrian Tan, contended that Dr Goh, a successful doctor who owns a fully paid up Sentosa Cove property, is not likely to dissipate his assets.

As for the injunction to stop them from joining Quikglow, Mr Tan argued that it was granted wrongly because the Gohs did not misuse confidential information.

Apart from these two lawsuits, there are at least two other legal actions relating to the PPP chain. The trial is expected to start in the second half of the year.