Dubai Drydocks's Non-Compete Suit Against Singapore Tycoon Tan Dismissed

A Singapore court dismissed a suit by Dubai’s Drydocks World LLC against Singaporean tycoon Tan Boy Tee for breaching an agreement tied to a S$2.4 billion ($1.8 billion) takeover deal.

Drydocks, which sued Tan for breaching a three-year non- compete clause, relied on “hearsay evidence,” Singapore High Court Judge Lai Siu Chiu said in an Aug. 25 ruling, publicly released yesterday. Dubai World’s ship-repair unit is appealing the decision, according to the ruling.

Drydocks sued Tan in May after coming across a Feb. 4 Otto Marine Ltd. statement which said Tan had taken a significant stake in the Singapore shipbuilder as part of a share placement that raised S$95 million. The purchase breached a non-compete clause in Tan’s agreement to sell Labroy Marine Ltd., a shipyard operator he founded, to Drydocks in January 2008, the unit of the Dubai state holding company claimed in its suit.

Tan denied having an interest in the 11 million shares bought by his son in late January and sold on Feb. 14. No value was stated in Drydocks’s claim for the profits from the sale of the shares, which are valued at S$4.1 million currently.

Tan is Singapore’s 14th richest person with a net worth of $730 million, according to Forbes. Labroy owned 37 hectares (443,000 square yards) of shipyards in Batam, Indonesia and a fleet of eight tankers and container vessels when Drydocks offered to buy it in October 2007.

Drydocks and DP World Ltd., the world’s fourth-biggest container-terminal operator, aren’t part of Dubai World’s $23.5 billion debt restructuring.

Davinder Singh and Jaikanth Shankar from Drew & Napier LLC acted for Tan while Drydocks was represented by Allen & Gledhill LLP’s Ang Cheng Hock and Ramesh Selvaraj.

The case is Drydocks World LLC v Tan Boy Tee OS387/2010 in the Singapore High Court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Tan in Singapore at atan17@bloomberg.net

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