Beyonics Technology Ltd., owned by Kyle Shaw’s private equity firm Shaw Kwei & Partners, sued its former chief executive officer claiming he took bribes to send a customer’s business to Korean competitors.
Goh Chan Peng, the former CEO of Singapore-based Beyonics, accepted payments from Nedec Co. and Kodec Co. to steer Seagate Technology Plc (STX:US) orders for hard-disk-drive parts to them, according to a lawsuit filed in the Singapore High Court. Seagate was Beyonics’s biggest customer, accounting for as much as 64 percent of revenue from 2009 to 2012, Beyonics said.
“The diversion enabled the Nedec/Kodec Group to develop a commercial relationship with Seagate and grow as a competitor,” Beyonics said in the lawsuit filed in August. A closed hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20.
Beyonics sought the return of lost profits, Goh’s salary from January to March and unspecified damages. Shaw Kwei, based in Hong Kong, acquired Beyonics in February 2012 for S$127 million ($102 million). The hard-disk-drive partmaker swung to a S$17.5 million loss on sales of S$1.33 billion for the fiscal year 2011 from net income of S$6.9 million a year earlier.
Goh, who resigned from Beyonics in January, said he had agreed to provide consulting services to Nedec and Kodec and the payments he received weren’t bribes. He also said the Korean firms had been supplying parts to Seagate since 2011, prior to the alleged diversion of business.
Goh countersued claiming he’s owed S$17,000 in unpaid salary, which Beyonics said he wasn’t entitled to because he failed to disclose that he breached his agreement with the company.
“My client’s position is the allegations are false and will vigorously defend against them,” said Goh’s lawyer Ng Lip Chih. Nedec and Kodec, which aren’t named as defendants in the lawsuit, didn’t bribe Goh, said Tony Lee, Chief Financial Officer at the Korean firms.
Kannan Ramesh, a lawyer representing Beyonics declined to comment.
Shaw, who had opened the Shanghai office of Paul Tudor Jones’s hedge fund firm Tudor Investment Corp. in 1994, founded his own private equity firm in 1999. Shaw Kwei invests in companies in Greater China and Southeast Asia.
Beyonics, in its lawsuit, also accused Goh of giving preferential treatment to Nedec and Kodec in the sale of one of its units, promising them in a 2012 e-mail a “friend price” of $40 million, while saying he would ask $50 million from a rival bidder.
Goh denied the allegation, saying the board had reviewed and approved the sale process.
Goh also claimed expenses which were unauthorized, including S$101,910 for wine, Beyonics said in seeking the return of most of the money.
The wines were given to customers as gifts and used at functions for Beyonics employees and suppliers, Goh said in his defense.
The case is Beyonics Technology Ltd. v Goh Chan Peng, S672/2013. Singapore High Court.
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