SINGAPORE (July 30): News that activist investor Jerry Low could be sued by the company he owns shares in is alarming. In May, Low wrote an open letter to the board of Asiatic Group (Holdings) on behalf of minority shareholders. Their grievances included management remuneration, the poor performance of several operating assets and the stock’s decline. This was followed by two other emails that were also made available to The Edge Singapore.
On July 20, Asiatic announced that it had engaged RHTLaw Taylor Wessing to commence legal proceedings against Low for “defamatory and injurious remarks”. RHT sent Low a cease and desist letter and asked him to apologise for his remarks and pay damages.
Asiatic is not the first locally listed company to turn to the court of law for respite from pressure in the court of public opinion. In 2012, agricultural commodities supply chain manager Olam International commenced legal action against Muddy Waters Research and its founder Carson Block over allegations about Olam’s debt and its accounting practices. Olam later decided to drop its suit.