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TWG founder in tussle with major shareholder OSIM

The founder of luxury tea company TWG has filed a lawsuit against majority shareholder OSIM International.

SINGAPORE : The founder of luxury tea company TWG has filed a lawsuit against majority shareholder OSIM International, alleging that the Singapore lifestyle firm and some of its directors had conspired to dilute his stake in the firm he had built up.

Manoj Murjani and his company The Wellness Group have asked the Singapore High Court  to reverse recent corporate developments at TWG Tea Company that had resulted in OSIM raising its stake in TWG Tea to 70 percent from 53.7 percent.

Besides OSIM, Murjani is also suing several individuals including OSIM founder Ron Sim and TWG Tea's other founder Taha Bou Qdib.

OSIM acknowledged receipt of the lawsuit on Monday but said the allegations were "unmeritorious and groundless".

The company added that it plans to file for a counter-claim to the lawsuit.

OSIM, which is best known for its massage chairs, first invested in TWG Tea in April 2011.

It paid S$31.36 million for a 35 percent stake at that time.

TWG Tea has grown rapidly since it was set up in Singapore in 2007.

Its high-end teas are sold in many upmarket stores around the world, while its distinctive yellow-themed tea salons can be found across Asia as well as in London and the Middle East.

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