Troubled Hong Kong exhibition group Golden Harvest has settled its long-running dispute with Australia’s Village Roadshow.
The two firms were due to face off in court this month over a suit to wind up their jointly owned Singapore subsidiary, Golden Village.
The suit was filed in 2005 after Golden Harvest accused Village Roadshow of “serious corporate governance failures” and failure to consult it over the management of Golden Village.
Golden Harvest accused Golden Village managing director Kenneth Tan of acting against the board’s wishes in agreeing to a ticket-price hike. The company also said Tan’s role as prexy of the Singapore Film Society represented a conflict of interest.
New management at Golden Harvest has moved quickly to resolve the situation.
Tan will step down Jan. 31, and Roadshow’s David Glass will be interim managing director until a replacement is found.
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The two companies did not explain their accord but issued a statement saying they had put their dispute behind them and recommitted to making Golden Village a success.
Sources said the agreement hinged on dropping the Singapore court case and on Tan’s departure.
“I am glad that Golden Harvest and Village Roadshow are able to reach consensus, so that we are able to renew our previous successful relationship as partners in a joint effort to actively develop the Singapore cinema market in the future,” said Golden Harvest chairman Wu Kebo.
The Per-capita filmgoing rate in Singapore is one of the highest in Asia. Admissions grew from 12 million in 2001 to 15 million in 2005. Golden Village has 73 screens at nine sites in Singapore, including its flagship VivoCity 15-plex, which opened in 2006.
Wu took over as chairman late last year after company founder Raymond Chow sold his 25% stake to Chinese talent management and production group Chengtian.
Tan, who in a statement described running Golden Village as his “dream job,” has set up a management consultancy and communications company, Bridge Builders.