HongKong

Hong Kong star Louis Koo sued over alleged failure to repay HK$8.3 million loan


Hong Kong film star Louis Koo Tin-lok has been sued by a business partner who claims he failed to repay a loan of HK$8.3 million (US$1.1 million) arising from a fashion joint venture more than a decade ago.

Alex Dong Choi-chi, film producer, investor and chairman of entertainment group Sunny Side Up Culture, also asked the High Court in the civil claim to order the 53-year-old actor and director to surrender half of the stakes of an offshore firm investing in a Chinese restaurant in Causeway Bay.

The writ, which was made available for public inspection on Wednesday, said the pair invested HK$16.6 million in Eyeteam Limited, a company involved in the distribution of goods from overseas apparel brands, including Evisu and A Bathing Ape.

They agreed in July 2013 to acquire 49 per cent of Eyeteam using Product Power, a firm wholly owned by Koo, and that they would each contribute half of the investment amount.

The writ said Koo, despite being the one proposing the joint venture, asked Dong to pay for his share first as he did not have enough cash at the time.

Film star Louis Koo allegedly asked business partner Alex Dong to pay for his share in fashion joint venture. Photo: EPA-EFE

Dong lent HK$8.3 million to Koo on an interest-free basis and repayable in five years but the loan has not been repaid as of date, according to the writ.

A year after the loan agreement, Koo suggested to Dong that they acquire the company operating the Ming Kitchen restaurant at Moreton Terrace in Causeway Bay.

The pair later agreed to contribute HK$4.55 million each to purchase 70 per cent of the shares of Wealthford International Industrial Ltd using Koo’s personal company, Cool Label, which was registered in the British Virgin Islands.

The plaintiff’s counsel asked the court to order the repayment of HK$8.3 million and declare that Koo held half of the shares of Product Power and Wealthford “on trust in favour of Dong” and that he was liable to transfer the stakes to Dong upon demand.

The writ did not specify any civil wrongdoing on Koo’s part regarding the investment in the restaurant.

Koo, one of Hong Kong’s most recognisable home-grown film icons, has appeared in more than 110 local productions after rising to fame as a television drama artist in the late 1990s.

He won the best actor accolades in both the Hong Kong Film Awards and Asian Film Awards in 2018 for his performance in Paradox. He was also recognised abroad, winning the Extraordinary Star Asia Award at the New York Asian Film Festival last year.



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