Utusan to appeal High Court’s Redberry decision

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 14, 2019.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd is appealing a Kuala Lumpur High Court's ruling in favour of media company, Redberry Sdn Bhd, which is seeking the return of an RM8.5 million deposit paid to Utusan in April last year.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Utusan said the board of directors instructed its solicitors yesterday to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the High Court's decision in Redberry’s favour on Feb 11.

"Despite the High Court's decision, the company’s counterclaim against the plaintiff (Redberry) for inter alia the sum totalling RM48.32 million, general damages and exemplary damages under the main suit still subsists, which counterclaim will extinguish the summary judgment obtained by the plaintiff for the sum of RM8.5 million," it added.

Utusan also said any further material development of the matter will be announced accordingly.

On Sept 5, 2018, Redberry, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ancom Bhd, claimed that Utusan had failed to refund the RM8.5 million deposit paid for a 48-month campaign worth RM10 million. The company is also seeking interest of 5% per year on the amount and costs on a full indemnity basis.

On Aug 20, 2018, the Malay-language newspaper and publisher was classified as a Practice Note 17 company as it defaulted on its principal and profit payment to Maybank Islamic Bhd and Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd totalling RM1.18 million, and was unable to provide a solvency declaration to Bursa Malaysia.

Utusan shares fell 1.5 sen or 5.56% to close at 25.5 sen yesterday, for a market capitalisation of RM28.24 million. Shares of Ancom closed 0.5 sen or 1.05% lower at 47 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM109.39 million.