Xstate wins a battle as it chases errant investors over unpaid bill
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Xstate Resources has chased its errant investors all the way to Singapore, as it tries to extract a court ordered $US33.2 million.
Four Asian investors, Tanzil Hidayat, Chloe Kwok Yun Qing, Hong Hung Thiam and Kevin Lim Gunawan, committed in April 2016 to invest $25 million in the oil and gas explorer (ASX:XST).
Xstate was planning to use the cash to buy the Los Angeles Basin oil and gas fields — a deal that had to be abandoned when the investors failed to pay up.
In December the Supreme Court of Western Australia agreed Xstate was owed $34.8 million in reparations including interest and costs by three of the four defendants (all but Mr Gunawan).
The three failed to appeal the decision by the January 18 deadline — but the trick is getting them to pay.
Xstate has now moved a step closer to a positive outcome with a decision by the High Court of Singapore to recognise the Australian court’s decision.
That means Xstate can enforce the order in Singapore as if it was a local judgement and is allowed to retrieve the costs associated with doing so.
The defendants have been adept so far at not engaging with Xstate and their Indonesian bank spent months reassuring the Xstate board it never delivered the money.
Xstate says that despite receiving a number of documents provided as evidence that the transfer had taken place — they never saw the cash.
Xstate shares were up 9 per cent after the news on Monday evening, to 1.2c. The company, worth $8.62 million, has traded between 0.5c and 2.9c in the past year.