Hong Kong businessman sues Next Digital after HK$500 million magazine deal collapses

February 6, 2018
Industry News
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Danny Mok
danny.mok@scmp.com

In writ filed at High Court, Kenny Wee claimed restitution for breach of contract and unjust enrichment

A businessman who tried to buy Hong Kong’s top news magazine has sued Next Digital, alleging breaches of contract and libel, days after his purchase attempt failed.

In a writ of summons filed at the High Court on Monday against Next Media Magazines Limited, Ideal Vegas Limited and Next Digital Limited, Kenny Wee Ho claimed restitution for breach of contract and unjust enrichment relating to the sale of Next Magazine Advertising Limited and Next Media Publishing Limited.

A second writ, naming Wee as the plaintiff, accused Next Digital, Apple Daily Limited, and Cheung Kim-hung, Next Media’s executive director, of libel over an article published on December 28 last year. For that action, Wee is seeking a retraction, as well as a ban on the press group from publishing similar defamatory content in the future. Monetary damages are also sought, according to the court document.

On Thursday, Next Digital announced that the HK$500 million (US$63 million) sale of its magazine business, which included the flagship Next Magazine, Sudden WeeklyFaceME! and Next+One, had collapsed because it had not received payment to complete the transaction.

Late last month, Next Digital said it was informed by Wee that due to “certain remittance issues”, the funds could not be sent to the sellers’ designated bank account.

Wee, the former owner of the Hong Kong free newspaper Metro Daily, expressed regret in a statement on Monday over the unilateral termination of the deal by Next Digital. Continue Reading 
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