March 23, 2018 / 8:24 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Indonesian coal firm Atlas Resources sues Noble Group for $260 mln

(Adds detail of Atlas intentions; Noble stock price and market capitalisation; chart)

By Gayatri Suroyo

JAKARTA, March 23 (Reuters) - Indonesia’s PT Atlas Resources has filed a $260 million lawsuit against troubled commodity trader Noble Group and its chief executive, accusing them of giving false information, the coal company said this week.

The lawsuit comes in the same week that Goldilocks Investment Co, a leading shareholder of Noble, also filed a lawsuit against the Singapore-listed commodity trader and some of its former and current senior executives, alleging they inflated Noble’s assets.

Atlas is an Indonesian coal company operating on the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua. Indonesian coal is the biggest remaining commodity that Noble trades.

Atlas said in its stock exchange filing that it filed a suit against Noble’s chief executive William James Randall, Noble Group, and Noble Resources International in the Central Jakarta court on Monday for unlawful acts related to sales of three of Atlas’ subsidiaries.

“The defendants have given a series of facts that they clearly knew as false information to the firm (Atlas Resources) that has caused material and immaterial losses,” Atlas said.

Noble said it plans to resist any and all allegations or claims made against it.

Atlas is seeking to cancel a share sale and purchase agreement, a share subscription agreement and three marketing agreements that were signed on March 2013, according to the Central Jakarta Court.

Atlas had total sales of just below 300,000 tonnes in 2016, its website says. Its total assets as of September 2017 were worth $336 million.

Atlas declined to comment on Friday.

Noble’s shares dropped as low as S$0.087 on Friday, its lowest since 1999, reducing its market capitalisation to just S$133 million ($101 million).

Noble said in a statement to the Singapore exchange on Friday that it was aware of the suit but had received no official notice.

“As at the time of this announcement, the company has not been served with any writ relating to such a claim and the company is not aware of the grounds for the claim or any further details relating to the same. Nonetheless, the Company intends to vigorously defend any claim if served,” Noble said.

($1 = 13,785.0000 rupiah) ($1 = 1.3148 Singapore dollars)

Reporting by Gayatri Suroyo in JAKARTA; additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in SINGAPORE; Editing by Tom Hogue and Kenneth Maxwell

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