Action over lost Ho billions imminent, says his lawyer
Casino magnate Stanley Ho Hung-sun may take fresh action as early as today to retrieve his lost assets, his lawyer Gordon Oldham said yesterday.
In other words, previous reports of peace in the extended Ho family were premature. Ho has 16 surviving children with his first and second wives and two mistresses.
After a Lunar New Year's break in the infighting over the 89-year-old billionaire's assets, Oldham took issue with reports that some family members had reached agreement on how to divide his casino empire.
Oldham said: 'As at the time of this press release [6pm yesterday], notwithstanding various statements made by Pansy Ho [Chiu-king] to the press and Dr Ho and statements made by members of the second and third families of Dr Stanley Ho, there has been no formal proposal to resolve and return the shares and interests held by him in Lanceford Company Limited to me.'
There have been several media reports about proposals for resolving who gets what in Ho's empire. Yesterday, a Chinese-language paper reported Pansy Ho had made a fresh proposal.
Lanceford owns a controlling 31.6 per cent of Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau. STDM, the largest commercial employer in Macau, holds a 56 per cent interest in listed casino company SJM Holdings - a stake worth about HK$40 billion.
Oldham said Ho would take action he deemed appropriate in the absence of an acceptable proposal, but did not comment on the possibility of another lawsuit. He hinted action would be taken as early as today.
On January 26, Oldham filed a lawsuit on behalf of Ho, accusing second wife Lucina Laam King-ying, their five children (Pansy, Daisy, Maisy, Lawrence and Josie), third 'wife' Ina Chan Un Chan, and his long-time banker Patrick Huen Wing-ming of improperly and/or illegally seizing 99.98 per cent control of Lanceford. However, the legal action was dropped three days later.
In a video released by Oldham and filmed on January 25, the tycoon described the transactions that saw him lose control of Lanceford as 'something like robbery'.
Yesterday, Oldham said: 'Dr Ho has again repeated to me his desire to have his interests returned so that he may divide his assets equally between his four families.'
Last night, Pansy Ho said: 'Neither I nor other members of the second and third families have made any statements or spoken to the media over the last week. We welcome all constructive dialogue between the families to seek to resolve this situation amicably.'