Two brothers embroiled in a legal tussle over the control of the celebrity Fook Lam Moon restaurants have reached an agreement in which the older brother will take charge of the operations of its two local outlets.
Shareholder and director Chui Pui-kun, fifth child of restaurant founder Chui Fook-chuen, will continue to run its flagship shop in Johnston Road, Wan Chai, and the branch in Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, the board of directors said in a statement yesterday.
It is understood that the seventh child, Chui Wai-kwan, will run and manage the seven branches outside Hong Kong - in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.
The pair recently came to an agreement to settle the matter "perfectly" outside court, the statement said.
The Fook Lam Moon restaurants are known for their Chinese cuisine and celebrity clientele. Tycoons including Joseph Lau Luen-hung, Lee Shau-kee and Li Ka-shing are regulars.
Details of the settlement were not disclosed. However, the court heard that the settlement included a condition that one of the brothers would buy out the other's shares in a bidding exercise.
The two brothers each own 45 per cent of the company. The remaining 10 per cent is held by their sister Tsui Yau-hing and other family members.
They narrowly avoided a lawsuit, expected to span 35 court days, when they told the Court of First Instance in November that they would come to terms with each other outside court.
Yesterday's statement said the two leading chefs at the local restaurants would continue manning the kitchens.
In reply, Duncan Chui Tak-keung, son of Chui Pui-kun, said: "We thank my uncle for his contribution to the restaurant in the past decades.
"We have had disputes before but those have been resolved. I hope that we can remain as a family in the future."
He said there had been inaccurate news reports on the bidding price at which his father bought out his uncle's shares.
The legal tussle began with a defamation lawsuit brought against Chui Wai-kwan in November 2009. That led to both brothers filing petitions three years ago to buy each other out.
The settlement did not include a resolution of the defamation lawsuit, the court had heard.