DBC's confidentiality injunction upheld
Albert Cheng King-hon must not disclose confidential information heard at meetings of troubled Digital Broadcasting Corporation, which he co-founded, the Court of First Instance ordered on Thursday.
Mr Justice Jonathan Harris allowed the injunction sought by station chairman and major shareholder Bill Wong Cho-bau. Wong was unhappy that Cheng, DBC’s president, had been revealing on air information discussed in meetings of the station’s board of directors.
Wong’s lawyers told the court that Cheng had been taping the meetings without board’s consent or authority. They also suspected that Cheng had supplied transcripts of the meeting to the press, including Chinese-language newspapers Oriental Daily and Ming Pao.
Wong, his lawyer said, made an urgent application to stop Cheng from divulging further confidential information ahead of a general meeting. Cheng was bound by the shareholder agreement not to disclose confidential information heard in the meetings, the lawyer said.
Cheng has been notified of the application on Wednesday evening, the court heard.
Cheng is also barred from repeating the confidential information he has already disclosed.
Cheng may discuss the confidential information with employees and agents of the radio station.
“The way we drafted the order is to be as helpful for Cheng as possible rather than to trip him up in day-to-day operations,” said Wong’s lawyer, Daniel Fung SC.
“We are not seeking to do a post-mortem. We are seeking to hold the reins,” Fung said.
Neither Cheng nor his representatives were present in court, and the case was adjourned to October 8 for further court directions.
DBC co-founder Cheng and Wong have been at odds since Cheng openly lambasted Wong, a Beijing loyalist, for refusing to top up his investment in the company because of what Cheng called political reasons.
On Tuesday, Cheng said the radio station would start a 100-hour countdown to closure unless he and Wong could close a deal to change its ownership.
Cheng proposed buying out Wong’s stake at a 50 per cent discount, or selling his own stake to Wong.
The city’s first digital broadcaster is running out of cash after Wong allegedly went back on an agreement to pump in an additional HK$50 million.
Investors have spent HK$150 million on the station since it was awarded a 12-year broadcasting licence in 2008. Its seven channels have been broadcasting since last year.
Earlier this month, Wong sought a court declaration that he was not in breach of a shareholder agreement when he refused to inject an additional HK$50 million.