DISPUTE

Yung Kee family feud: Iconic roast goose restaurant’s future uncertain as struggles to reach deal continues

One of the Kam children confirmed the court allowed them to extend the deadline to extend the deal-making deadline

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 December, 2015, 2:32am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 December, 2015, 4:06pm

The future of the iconic roast goose restaurant Yung Kee’s remains uncertain as the families of the two feuding brothers still failed to reach a settlement in buying up shares on the night before the effective day of the winding up order, which was set to be today.

Yvonne Kam Kiu-yan, the daughter of the younger brother Ronald Kam Kwan-lai, yesterday confirmed the court allowed them to extend the deadline for making a deal until later today . However, no deal had yet been reached.

“My father promised to my late grandfather that we would try our very best to take care of Yung Kee,” she said. “We are still trying very hard to keep the business.”

READ MORE: End of a Hong Kong-style roast goose saga as court allows family restaurant to be wound up

But she admitted both sides still disagreed over the selling price of the shares and the amount involved hundreds of millions of dollars.

The dispute between Ronald Kam and his elder brother Kinsen Kam Kwan-sing erupted as the elder brother complained that he was excluded from the restaurant.

Kinsen Kam, who held 45 per cent of the shares in Yung Kee Holdings Limited, filed a petition to the High Court in 2010 asking the court to order Ronald Kam’s side, which held 55 per cent of the company, to buy up his shares or wind up the company.

Kinsen Kam died in 2012. His widow Leung Sui-kwan continued the legal battle until the top court ruled in favour of the elder brother’s side last month.

The Court of Final Appeal’s five judges ruled the company should be wound up, but they allowed the families of the two brothers to negotiate a deal in which one side would buy up the shares of the other side before the deadline; otherwise “the winding up order will take effect automatically”.

Kevin Kam, the elder son of the elder brother, admitted previously that Ronald Kam’s side had suggested an offer to them on December 4 this year, and the sides exchanged their opinions.

Yvonne Kam said they had found professional accountants to prepare three proposals for the other side to consider. But their main disagreement was on the valuation of the restaurant’s property in Central.

READ MORE: Goose cooked here: Hong Kong restaurant has enough local ties to settle dispute in city, one family member tells another in court

According to a Chinese media report, one of the proposals suggested moving the restaurant to another location so as to rebuild the original building.

Yvonne Kam said: “We both said we had no intention to kill the business. However, they argued that the restaurant did not need to operate in the same location.”

“We are of the view that Yung Kee will no longer be Yung Kee if it is no longer located at Wellington Street,” she added.