MMC Corporation announced regarding legal proceedings against an associate company of Malakoff in connection with sea water desalination plant in the district of Tlemcen, Algeria:
"...that MCB [Malakoff Corporation Bhd] had been informed by AAS [Almiyah Attilemcania Spa] solicitors on 30 December 2014 that the lower court of Ghazouet (“Court”) in the district of Tlemcen has imposed a penalty of DZD3,929,038,151.36 (approximately US$44.6 million at the exchange rate of US$1=DZD88) on AAS in respect of the Legal Proceedings (“Penalty”).
AAS has been advised by its solicitors that the Penalty would not be enforced until the exhaustion of all rights to appeal by AAS in respect of the Legal Proceedings. AAS had filed an appeal against the decision of the Court to the Algerian Court of Appeal."
That is quite a high penalty, it is not often that one sees a penalty of more than RM 100 million.
The Malaysian press has been rather silent about the case. Some more details can be found in this announcement:
3. During the financial year 2009, it was discovered that there was a considerable gap between the value of the delivered equipment and the value of the payment made by AAS to the supplier cum contractor (“Invoice Gap”). AAS wrote to the supplier cum contractor requesting for clarifications as they are responsible to resolve tax and customs issues. The invoice gap however was not resolved by the supplier cum contractor and the Algerian Customs then initiated investigations and thereafter the charge was brought against AAS.
4. Due to the Invoice Gap, it is alleged that AAS has failed to repatriate a sum of USD26,900,000. No interest is imposed in the Legal Proceedings but the Court can impose penalty as it deems fit.
Malakoff is planning a relisting exercise, after having been listed and subsequently delisted before. The kind of "games" that are often played by Malaysian tycoons on Bursa. The valuation at relisting is often very much higher than the valuation when the company was delisted. Unfortunately, there is not much that minority investors can do against this practice.