Malaysian billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan’s Astro group said Lippo Group, its former Indonesian partner in a failed television venture, is avoiding paying $300 million in arbitration awards and is too late to challenge it.
Lippo didn’t challenge the awards within a stipulated time frame of three months and can’t attack their validity of the awards, David Joseph, a lawyer for eight Astro units, said yesterday in the Singapore High Court. Justice Belinda Ang reserved her judgment after the three-day hearing.
Lawyers for three units within James Riady’s Lippo Group, which has media, financial services and property businesses in Asia, have said they didn’t consent to the confidential arbitration. The time limit to oppose the awards doesn’t apply to this case, Lippo’s lawyer Toby Landau said.
Astro started the Singapore arbitration a month after Lippo sued companies and individuals linked to Krishnan in Indonesia in September 2008, seeking to end the lawsuit and the return of its investment in the pay-TV venture.
A three-member arbitration tribunal in 2010 ruled that Astro should get $300 million from Lippo. To enforce the awards, Astro sought orders from courts including in the U.K., Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
Krishnan’s Astro All Asia Networks Plc has said it ended the venture after its Lippo partners failed to pay 805 million ringgit ($254 million) in bills. Krishnan, Malaysia’s second-richest man, has a fortune worth about $7.6 billion, according to data compiled and calculated by Bloomberg.
The Singapore cases are Astro Nusantara International BV v PT Ayunda Prima Mitra OS807/2010 and OS913/2010. Singapore High Court.