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Donaco CEO Joey Lim Keong Yew steps aside

Fri, Mar 22, 9:14am by Staff Writer

Joey Lim Keong Yew has been left his position as chief executive officer of Donaco International, but will remain on the company’s board as a non-executive director, Calvin Ayre reports.

His brother, Ben Lim Keong Hoe is going to continue as the interim chief executive officer and manager director, roles that he was given when Joey Lim exited due to illness this past December.

Joey Lim has been on sick leave since December 6, 2018.

At the time, he was serving was managing director and chief executive officer and was expected to only be away for three months.

The Lim brothers controlled 41.13 per cent of Donaco International according to a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange last October.

Earlier this month, it was announced that a 27 per cent stake previously held by the Lim family had been sold.

That deal saw Vincent Prinina and Mitchell Mansfield appointed as “joint and several receivers of approximately 224 shares” in Donaco.

It wasn’t clear whether or not that stake was held directly by the Lim brothers, or by an entity controlled by the Lim family.

The appointment of the receivers of the shares were made by Madison Pacific Trust Ltd, the security trustee for OL.

That appointment was made “pursuant to certain financing agreements with entities controlled by Mr Joey Lim.”

Donaco is aware of the transfer and stated earlier this month that it might be viewed by Donaco’s Taiwan-based lender, Mega International Commercial Bank Co. Ltd, as a “change of control” according to terms defined in a loan agreement.

Donaco added, “if so, the loan may become due and payable sooner than the currently scheduled repayment dates.”

Donaco informs ASX of debt

Last December, Donaco informed the ASX that it was contemplating its options regarding a debt of $39.9 million it held with Mega Bank.

That debt is secured by the firm’s Star Vegas Resort and Club located in Poipet, Cambodia.

That same month, the company’s managing director and chief executive Joey Lim vacated his positions due to ill health.

The casino operator has been embroiled in a legal dispute with former partners out of Thailand that previously owned the Star Vegas Resort and Club in Poipet, Cambodia.

That facility sits on the Thailand/Cambodia border and targeted gamblers in Thailand, where casinos are illegal.

The partners operating their casinos, according to Donaco, were in violation of an agreement that prevented them form being active in the area.

Donaco has already sought relief through arbitration in Singapore and has also been trying to argue its case in the Australian court system.

Donaco, for its most recent complete financial year that ended last June, reported post-tax losses of $88.4 million.

This included a non-cash impairment of just over $100 million, which was a result of the ongoing dispute and was directly tied to the Star Vegas license.

This past February, it stated in a filing with the ASX that it was able to reduce its fiscal first-half 2019 loss to $26.13 million, compared to the $95.01 million loss from the previous year.

In that February filing, the company added, “the board continues to pursue legal proceedings against the Thai vendor to enforce its legal rights and receive financial compensation for the losses incurred.”

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