PETALING JAYA: Former executive chairman and chief executive officer of Perdana Petroleum Bhd (formerly Petra Perdana Bhd) Tengku Datuk Ibrahim Petra Tengku Indra Petra and its three former non-executive directors have been vindicated of charges of breach of fiduciary duty in selling down the company’s stake in Petra Energy Bhd (PEB) about four years ago.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court, after a substantial judgement, ruled yesterday that there was no evidence of wrongful dishonest conduct by the defendants – Tengku Ibrahim, Wong Fook Heng, Tiong Young Kong and Lee Mee Jiong – in the divestment decision of PEB shares in late-2009. The court also dismissed allegations of conspiracy to damage Perdana Petroleum.
Responding to the court ruling via his co-counsel Philip Koh, Tengku Ibrahim said: “I am humbled by the decision and am thankful to Allah. I have always acted in good faith and with honesty for the company, which then bore part of my name.”
This ruling constituted a significant episode in the saga of Perdana Petroleum, which started in late-2009, with the sale of part of the company’s stake in subsidiary PEB. This was followed by the sale of a 25.03% stake in PEB to Shorefield Resources Sdn Bhd that subsequently left Perdana Petroleum with a 29.59% stake in PEB.
The divestment led to a dramatic boardroom tussle, which subsequently resulted in the ousting of Tengku Ibrahim and four other directors from Perdana Petroleum in a 13-hour EGM in February 2010.
Prior to his removal, Tengku Ibrahim owned a 12% stake in the company. He ceased to be a substantial shareholder in Perdana Petroleum in November 2010.
According to a court transcript made available to StarBizWeek, there was genuine concern of cash flow or liquidity problems in Perdana Petroleum that resulted in the divestment of PEB shares. It said Tengku Ibrahim had exercised proper business judgement in the best interest of Perdana Petroleum in effecting the sale of PEB.
“None of the directors exercised their powers for an improper purpose or with ulterior motives,” the court ruled.