Singapore — The bankruptcy hearing of Terence Loh, the co-founder of Novena Global Healthcare (NGH) on Thursday (July 8) resulted in the High Court granting the order.
Mr Loh is in debt of around S$70 million to five banks.
His proposal to the High Court last April for a “white knight” to seek refinancing for his loan of $24 million with DBS Bank fell through. Moreover, he planned on entering a voluntary arrangement with his creditors, so he could repay them.
But by June, his lawyer, Muralli Rajaram of K&L Gates Straits Law, told the High Court that he would no longer proceed with the voluntary arrangement.
Maybank has been seeking to recover more than S$3 million from the 43-year-old businessman, who is the guarantor for the loan the bank granted the Singapore subsidiary of NGH.
Maybank started bankruptcy proceedings against Mr Loh last November.
The following month, NGH was ordered by the High Court to wind up after it had failed to pay DBS a debt of over $14 million. Mr Loh’s cousin and business partner, Mr Nelson Loh, who had been the personal guarantor for the loan to DBS, was declared bankrupt. Mr Nelson Loh is currently at large.
Mr Terence Loh’s legal woes were compounded in April when he was named as a third-party defendant by Ms Lynn Leow, his former business partner. She is being sued by HSBC to recoup $3 million from Giron, a wine trading and distribution company of which Mr Terence Loh is one of the directors.
As he has been declared bankrupt, Mr Terence Loh will no longer be included in the legal proceedings in the suit.
He now has 21 days to declare assets to the private trustee of his estate, Mr Leow Quek Shiong of accounting firm BDO, who could sell the assets, including private property and vehicles, to pay his creditors back.
He and Mr Nelson Loh, were two of the three principals of the Bellagraph Nova Group, which was reported to be a serious contender for buying the English Premier League football club Newcastle United in Aug last year.
Since then, NGH has faced accusations of having used unauthorised signatures of accounting firm Ernst & Young in its financial statements.
The Straits Times reported in April that Mr Terence Loh said that he was trying to recover value from his other businesses so that he can pay his creditors. The businessman was said to be exploring the possible sale of one chain of clinics under a Novena Global Healthcare Group subsidiary, Novu Aesthetics.
However, all five of Novu Aesthetics’ outlets were closed suddenly in March. There are hundreds of patients who still have prepaid treatment packages they have yet to claim.
The clinics were reportedly shut due to a lack of funds, with some clinic staff owed back pay. /TISG
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