Macau's Ho restarts legal action against family: lawyer

HONG KONG Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:48am EST

Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho (2n L), his third wife Chan Un-chan (2nd R) and daughter Florinda (R) speak to reporters in their home in Hong Kong January 26, 2011. REUTERS/Tai Kung Pao/Lam Yu San/Pool

Macau casino magnate Stanley Ho (2n L), his third wife Chan Un-chan (2nd R) and daughter Florinda (R) speak to reporters in their home in Hong Kong January 26, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Tai Kung Pao/Lam Yu San/Pool

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Macau gaming magnate Stanley Ho has launched a fresh lawsuit against family members he accuses of stealing control of his Hong Kong-listed SJM Holdings Ltd, his lawyer said.

In the latest twist in the month-long dynastic tussle for control of one of Asia's largest fortunes, Ho filed legal proceedings in the Hong Kong High Court on Wednesday, Ho's lawyer Gordon Oldham said.

"It is regrettable that Dr. Ho has been forced to take this second action," Oldham told reporters.

The 89-year-old chairman of Macau's biggest casino operator, SJM Holdings, has been embroiled in a battle for control of his assets since January, with three of his four wives and 16 surviving children, whose controversial asset transfer has effectively whittled down the bulk of Ho's shareholdings in SJM to nothing.

In a video address late last month, the ailing Ho said he was dropping a lawsuit against his family to give them a chance to return the assets amicably and appealed for family unity.

The reluctance of Pansy and Daisy Ho, the tycoon's daughters with his second wife, to return Ho's interests in Lanceford Co Ltd to their father as promised had forced Ho to once again commence legal proceedings, Oldham said.

Ho was suing Pansy and Daisy Ho and companies owned by his third wife, Oldham said.

The proceedings also involved an injunction to prevent both Daisy and Pansy from exercising undue influence relating to several other of Ho's interests and equity in other companies belonging to Ho.

Ho was also seeking a remedy for the breach of agreement by Pansy and Daisy, the statement said.

Shares in SJM closed down 2.7 percent on Wednesday, having fallen more than 20 percent from a mid-January peak. (Reporting by Alison Leung; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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