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Thread: Horizon Towers case back in High Court

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    Default Horizon Towers case back in High Court

    Published March 20, 2008

    Horizon minorities say sale done in bad faith

    By MICHELLE QUAH


    The minority owners of Horizon Towers say the collective sale of the development was conducted in bad faith because the sales committee did not seek the best price.

    This was the case they put forward yesterday on the opening day of their appeal against a decision by the Strata Title Board (STB) on Dec 7 last year to approve the en bloc sale of Horizon Towers.

    Some of their arguments were already presented at the STB hearings but the minority owners felt the need to bring them up again as they believe they did not get a fair hearing when the sale was adjudicated by STB last year.

    The group of minority owners, represented by Harry Elias Partnership, dwelt heavily yesterday on their claim that the Horizon Towers sales committee deliberately ignored an offer from a Hong Kong developer that was higher than the $500 million offered, and eventually paid, by Hotel Properties Ltd and its partners.

    The minorities say an offer of $510 million came from Vineyard Holdings (HK) via Malaysian law firm Shan & Su, and that the sales committee deliberately hid this information from the other owners.

    The minorities also claim the sales committee set onerous conditions for this competing offer and misrepresented at the STB hearing that its lawyer had advised it to dismiss the offer.

    The minorities also introduced fresh evidence they say contradicts testimony to STB last year by sales committee member Henry Lim. Mr Lim said he was advised by the sales committee's law firm, Drew & Napier, not to pursue the Vineyard Holdings offer.

    But Harry Elias Partnership produced a letter from Drew & Napier in which the law firm said it advised Mr Lim to follow up all potential offers - and left the responsibility of doing so entirely to him. 'At no time was Drew & Napier asked to do anything in relation to Vineyard's interest,' the firm's letter said.

    The letter was obtained only in January this year, after STB made its decision on the collective sale of Horizon Towers.

    The minorities are arguing that STB therefore based its decision on false and misleading evidence, as it relied on the testimony of Mr Lim to conclude that the sales committee did not act improperly in not pursuing the Vineyard offer.

    The hearing of the minorities' appeal continues today. Hotel Properties' law firm Allen & Gledhill, which was granted leave yesterday to intervene in the appeal, will present its arguments. The majority owners who agreed to the collective sale, represented by Tan Rajah & Cheah, will also put their arguments.

    Two minority owners - Lo Pui Sang, who represented himself, and Canterford, who was represented by Senior Counsel Michael Hwang and Dr SK Phang - decided not to appeal against STB's decision. Minority owner Jasmine Tan, previously represented by Tan Kok Quan, has opted to represent herself in the appeal.

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    Default Re: Horizon minorities say sale done in bad faith

    March 20, 2008

    Horizon Towers case back in High Court


    THE seemingly never-ending saga of the Horizon Towers collective sale is clearly losing steam.

    Two of the nine sets of minority owners fighting the sale have dropped out of the High Court appeal that started yesterday, and even the number of onlookers in the public gallery was noticeably fewer than at previous hearings.

    The dropouts - a couple representing themselves and a foreign firm - were not represented in court yesterday.

    Minority owners Jasmine Tan and Rudy Darmawan are representing themselves and three others while Mr Quek Keng Seng is representing himself. The other minority owners are represented by Harry Elias Partnership.

    Senior Counsel Harry Elias told the court that the $500 million sale price was not obtained in good faith. He highlighted the fact that a higher offer of $510 million from Vineyard Holdings in Hong Kong was not communicated to the owners.

    Mr K. Shanmugam and his team from Allen & Gledhill, who are representing the buyers, applied successfully to participate in the court session.

    Minority owners are appealing a decision in December last year by the Strata Titles Board (STB) to approve the $500 million sale of the 99-year leasehold Leonie Hill estate.

    The on-off again sale has reflected the roller-coaster ride Singapore's property market has been on over the past two years or so.

    The Horizon Towers deal was inked in January last year, before the market shot up. Hotel Properties, Morgan Stanley Real Estate and Qatar Investment Authority agreed to pay $500 million.

    But as the market boiled over last year, minority owners felt they were getting a raw deal and tried to halt the sale. They had some success when the STB rejected the sale on a technicality, but that ruling was overturned by the High Court in October. The STB approved the sale in December.

    But the once-hot market has cooled considerably since then. Sale volumes have thinned out dramatically although prices have generally held up.

    The minority owners are still fighting the sale as they never wanted to sell from Day One. And the sale price of less than $900 per sq ft is still below prevailing market rates, said an industry source.

    The hearing before Justice Choo Han Teck continues today.

    JOYCE TEO

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    Thumbs up Re: Horizon Towers case back in High Court

    I "THE MAN SCREW" HEREBY REQUEST A RAISE IN SALARY FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS! I do physical labour?
    I work in great depths?
    I plunge headfirst in everything I do?
    I do not get weekends or public holidays off ?
    Iwork in damp invironment?
    I work in a dark place that has no ventilation?
    I work in high temperatures?

    NO MAN WANTS TO APPLY FOR THIS HARSH POSITION! I THEREFOR DESERVE A RAISE!

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    Default Re: Horizon Towers case back in High Court

    [We now have a new law minister, who apparently has experience with the many quirks of the enbloc process. Lets us hope he will introduce some new owner friendly' legislation; i.e. Reduce the overall duration of the process (Possibly by making it six months to attain the required 80% majority - or 90% as the case may be), One house one 'whole' vote and one Apportionment method.]



    STRONGLY AGREE!! Why should HOMES & LIVES be ABUSED under all the ENBLOC TRIALS & ERRORS!!

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    Default Re: Horizon Towers case back in High Court

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered
    I "THE MAN SCREW" HEREBY REQUEST A RAISE IN SALARY FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS! I do physical labour?
    I work in great depths?
    I plunge headfirst in everything I do?
    I do not get weekends or public holidays off ?
    Iwork in damp invironment?
    I work in a dark place that has no ventilation?
    I work in high temperatures?

    NO MAN WANTS TO APPLY FOR THIS HARSH POSITION! I THEREFOR DESERVE A RAISE!
    YOUR REQUEST FOR SALARY RAISE HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:-
    You do not work 8 hours straight?
    You fall asleep after brief work periods?
    You do not stay in your designated area?
    You do not take initiative?
    You need to be pressured and stimulated in order to start working?
    You leave your work place messy?
    You are unable to do double shifts?
    You leave the workplace carrying two suspicious looking bags?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Horizon Towers case back in High Court

    Gee by the time this thing is settled one way or another, prices of property would have fallen.

    Will the parties have recourse to sue for damages arising out of the delay.
    The amount involved will be very big.

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