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Friday, February 1, 2008

King Power back in business

Chiang Rai _ The Civil Court has ordered Airports of Thailand (AoT) to let King Power International Group resume business at Suvarnabhumi pending a decision on their dispute.

AoT earlier cancelled its contracts with King Power, the operator of duty-free shops and commercial areas at the airport, for alleged irregularities in the contracting process. The firm filed a counter lawsuit with the Civil Court and sought damages of 68 billion baht.

The court's injunction, issued on Wednesday and released yesterday, said the firm must be allowed to operate until a ruling is made in their dispute.

It also prohibited AoT and its executives from giving press interviews that might affect King Power's operations.

AoT has ordered King Power's eviction from duty-free outlets and commercial shopping space at the airport.

The contracts ran into problems early last year after the AoT board accused King Power of breaching the public-private joint-venture law.

It said King Power had concealed information to keep the official investment in each of its two commercial developments at the airport under one billion baht to avoid proper scrutiny.

The court also instructed King Power to pay about three billion baht to the AoT, which has not received any revenue from the company since the airport opened.

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