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Oil storage groups Dialog Group, Vopak face $1.35 billion lawsuit

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(Reuters) – Energy sector services provider Dialog Group on Tuesday said it is facing a lawsuit from a property investment firm claiming $1.35 billion (£1.04 billion) from Dialog and its joint-venture partners, including Dutch oil storage group Koninklijke Vopak NV.

Property investment company Teguh Kemajuan Sdn Bhd is seeking compensation for profits it allegedly lost because some of its land was compulsorily purchased by the State Government of Johor, which is also a participant in the Dialog joint venture.

“Vopak considers the claim as unfounded, based on the current facts and circumstances,” said Liesbeth Lans, Global Manager External Communication at Vopak, replying to a Reuters request for comment.

Dialog said it believed that the claims were “frivolous” and amounted to an abuse of process of the court.

Teguh Kemajuan had earlier challenged the compulsory purchase of the land, but this was dismissed and it exhausted its rights of appeal. It was later awarded a higher price for the land in January 2018, which it also appealed against.

Dialog Group said a hearing for the case has been fixed to take place at the Johor Bahru High Court on May 22. It said the proceedings would not have any material impact on the company’s operations or financial position for the current financial year.

Vopak’s shares in Amsterdam slipped as much as 4.5 percent to their lowest in four months on the news of the legal action. They pared losses to stand at about 0.5 pct down.

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Goraj Pawel. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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