Datasonic mulls counter-claim against Fima's unit over passport deal

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 31): Datasonic Group Bhd said today that its unit has yet to receive a writ of summons from Fima Corp Bhd's subsidiary Percetakan Keselamatan Nasional Sdn Bhd (PKN) on a lawsuit claim for RM24.98 million in alleged unpaid dues.

Nevertheless, the group told Bursa Malaysia in a filing that it reserves all rights to claim against PKN for damages arising from the latter's claim, and that the group is contemplating a counter-claim for that.

It said the legal action was in relation to a dispute between its unit Datasonic Technologies Sdn Bhd (DTSB) and PKN over the price of 1.5 million Malaysian passport booklets which were supplied by PKN to DTSB for the interim period of six months from Dec 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017, before the booklets were fully printed by DTSB.

PKN had voluntarily delivered the passport booklets to DTSB "with full knowledge that the terms of the agreement between PKN and DTSB have not been agreed on between the parties, and that the agreement has not been executed", with the price of the booklets still subject to negotiation, Datasonic said. 

"PKN is now claiming a sum of RM24.98 million (excluding interest and cost). However, the final amount payable will be ascertained by the court. DTSB is of the opinion that the final settlement sum will be far less than what is claimed by PKN, as it has meritorious defences against the claim," the filing said.

Hence, the group has set aside a contingent liability of about RM5 million as previously disclosed in a company circular to shareholders dated May 30, should the court decide wholly in PKN’s favour.

Datasonic, who suspended trading of its shares for an hour from 2.30pm today to make way for this announcement, also said it was only made aware of the lawsuit against its DTSB through a report on The Edge Financial Daily today.

Datasonic’s shares have been on a downtrend earlier today and was down 4.62% or 4 sen at 82.5 sen, prior to noon break. On trading resumption, the stock continued to fall. At 3.38pm, it was down 5.5 sen or 6.36% at 81 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM1.11 billion.

Fima Corp, which announced the legal action against PKN yesterday, was up 5 sen or 2.56% at RM2 at noon break today, for a market value of RM480.98 million.