Keppel strikes back at supplier over legal dispute

Singapore’s Viking Offshore & Marine has accused government-backed shipbuilding conglomerate Keppel Offshore and Marine of not acting within its own integrity guidelines after Keppel fired its latest shots in the David and Goliath legal battle between the two companies.

Viking subsidiary Viking HVAC launched legal proceedings in March against Keppel subsidiary yard Keppel Singmarine for over S$5.07m ($3.72m), part of a subcontract between the companies for the design, supply and installation of a heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration system.

While Keppel has hit back with a counterclaim of S$3.8m ($2.79m) which Viking rejects, it also stands accused by Viking of using delay tactics to drag the issue out.

In a shareholder update last night, Viking has revealed an escalation of the dispute after another of its subsidiaries, Marshal Systems, received notice from Keppel that it is suspending all business with Marshal.

“Marshal has no relation to the issues in dispute in the present proceedings and should not have to suffer collateral damage from commercial pressure directed at the Company,” Viking said in a statement.

Viking went on the attack, highlighting comments from Keppel’s annual results about its values prohibiting unethical practices and calling on the company to act within its own group ethos.

Viking has vowed to take all necessary steps to recover the funds due and resist all attempts to delay the dispute.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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