Badminton Asia, FAM left to ponder after MP & Silva dissolved

MP & Silva

At least two sports organisations in Kuala Lumpur are hoping for the best following news that MP & Silva was dissolved by the UK High Court of Justice on Wednesday.

The French Tennis Federation had brought a petition to dissolve the sports marketing firm – majority-owned by Chinese companies Everbright and Baofeng. The federation revealed MP & Silva owed them more than US$6.6 million. The money was due on June 30 but an extension was arranged with guarantees of payment by July 25.

However, no payment was made and the petition was submitted on Aug 24.

MP & Silva apparently owes Badminton Asia some US$800,000. The two entities entered into a contract for media rights from 2016-2020.

Badminton Asia chief operating officer Kenny Goh confirmed the regional body terminated its contract with MP & Silva on Sept 26 after it did not receive any funds this year.

“They paid in 2016 and 2017 but not this year. So we terminated the contract and they agreed to pay the sum owed,” said Goh.

“Following the dissolution, we just have to wait for the due process. I hope we will get our money back as it is relatively small compared to what MP & Silva owes other organisations.”

Just like the FA of Singapore, the FA of Malaysia (FAM) entered into what was then seen as a lucrative agreement with MP & Silva.

FAM, had on Jan 23, 2015, entered an agreement with MP & Silva. The sports marketing firm pledged RM1.26 billion towards the partnership, which kicked off in 2016, over the total 15-year period of the contract.

The ceremony was held at Ritz Carlton Hotel. FAM was represented by then president Tengku Abdullah Shah, while MP & Silva was represented by its managing director, Asia Pacific, Beatrice Lee and head of acquisitions Daniele Capelletti.

A year into force, FAM and MP & Silva were already at odds and sought  redress in arbitration court.

FAM president Datuk Hamidin Amin said the matter was still being arbitrated.

“I read about the winding up of MP & Silva. Our situation is different. Also, we signed with (MP & Silva’s) Singapore office that is still operating.

“We are expected to make an announcement over this matter soon … once we get the arbitration out of the way.”

MP & Silva had, also in 2015, signed a six-year, S$25 million media rights contract with FAS.

Questions are now being raised if the Islanders will receive the full amount of that deal.

Singapore’s Straits Times reported that MP & Silva staff were seen at the Singapore office on Oct 18 but industry insiders revealed that MP & Silva Singapore president and group CEO Seamus O’Brien and its Asia-Pacific managing director Wu Swee Sin had quit.