Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Dissenters of Horizon Towers en-bloc sale lose appeal

  1. #1
    Any complaints please PM me
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8,129

    Default Dissenters of Horizon Towers en-bloc sale lose appeal

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest%2...ry_258622.html

    July 17, 2008

    Dissenters of Horizon Towers en-bloc sale lose appeal

    By Joyce Teo


    THE drawn-out collective sale of Horizon Towers finally came to a close on Thursday when the High Court threw out the appeal of the objecting owners, allowing it to proceed.

    This means that Hotel Properties (HPL) and its two partners can now complete the $500 million collective sale of the Leonie Hill estate, if the objecting owners do not appeal against the High Court's decision.

    It has been one-and-a-half years since the deal was inked.

    High Court judge Choo Han Teck on Thursday said he was of the view that there was no error of law that would have corrupted the decision of the Strata Titles Board (STB), which had allowed the sale to proceed.

  2. #2
    Any complaints please PM me
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8,129

    Default Another door closes on Horizon minorities

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...88170,00.html?

    Published July 18, 2008

    Another door closes on Horizon minorities

    High Court dismisses appeal, says there's no proof that sale was in bad faith

    By MICHELLE QUAH


    (SINGAPORE) Minority owners seeking to stop the en bloc sale of Horizon Towers have been defeated yet again. Singapore's High Court yesterday dismissed their appeal, on the grounds that they failed to prove the sale was done in bad faith and prejudiced their rights.

    This decision, coming on the heels of the High Court's dismissal of an appeal against the sale of Gillman Heights Condominium, marks the second major defeat for minorities here.

    The minority owners of Horizon Towers whom BT spoke to said they were still considering their options at this time. But they will soon be meeting to decide if they will take the matter to the Court of Appeal, or start a civil suit to claim for any financial loss - which will be their final recourse.

    If they decide not to appeal further, the $500 million sale of the Leonie Hill development to a consortium led by Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL) will go through. It will also mean that the closely watched saga - which has been playing out in the public eye for more than a year - will finally come to a close.

    HPL group executive director Chris Lim told BT: 'We are pleased with the High Court judgment and hope to move forward with the deal as it's been one-and-a-half years since the sale agreement was inked.'

    Justice Choo Han Teck, who presided over the minorities' appeal, said in his judgment yesterday that the minorities had failed to show that the Strata Titles Board (STB) erred in law in its decision to approve the en bloc sale in December.

    The High Court only has powers to consider questions of law on appeal.

    The minorities had argued that the sale had been conducted in bad faith. They claimed a better sale price might have been achieved if the sales committee had pursued a second offer from a party called Vineyard, which had reportedly offered $510 million. The minorities claimed the sales committee did not pursue the offer - and even concealed it - because the development's sales agent, First Tree, was getting a higher sales commission from the HPL consortium.

    But Justice Choo said the minorities failed to prove bad faith, as their argument was essentially concerned with whether the eventual sale price was fair - which is 'a question of fact' for the STB to decide, and not a question of law for the court to deliberate on.

    Justice Choo said, if the minorities feel the sales committee had deliberately or negligently not pursued the Vineyard offer, they can pursue a civil claim for the purported financial loss.

    He also ruled that the minorities had failed to prove there was a lack of good faith in the way the sales proceeds were to be distributed amongst the various owners. The minorities argued the apportionment method used was unfair because it resulted in penthouse owners getting about 16 per cent less on a per- square-metre basis, compared to non-penthouse owners.

    Justice Choo said there can't be a lack of good faith in the selection of the apportionment method just because it was the only one considered or it led to some owners getting more than others. He noted that the STB had considered the evidence of several experts and it seemed no one method would satisfy everyone.

    He added that, even if the STB had deemed the chosen method inappropriate, it would be an error of fact and not an error of law.

    He also dismissed the minorities' arguments that the en bloc sale was unconstitutional, and that the sale agreement had lapsed by the time the STB approved the sale.

    Justice Choo also noted the 'intrigue' that has surrounded the en bloc sale of Horizon Towers. There have been numerous accusations on the conduct of the various parties involved - ranging from whether the sales committee should have worked harder to get a better sale price, to whether the minorities were only against the sale because the price was too low.

    'The STB was not bound to examine the rights and preferences of each individual subsidiary proprietor and it was not the forum to inquire into the conduct of individual members of the SC (sales committee), or even the SC as a whole,' Justice Choo said. 'If the STB were to embark on the kind of inquiry and make the findings the appellants say it ought to have done, the STB would never get its job done within the time limited.'

  3. #3
    Any complaints please PM me
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8,129

    Default

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Money/St...ry_258804.html

    July 18, 2008

    Appeal against Horizon Towers sale dismissed

    High Court ruling clears the way for $500m collective sale that was inked 1-1/2 years ago

    By Joyce Teo, Property Correspondent


    THE drawn-out battle over the $500 million collective sale of Horizon Towers has moved one step closer to a conclusion after the High Court threw out an appeal by objecting owners.

    Yesterday's ruling means the sale of the Leonie Hill estate, first inked in January last year, can proceed - unless the objectors pursue one final possible avenue of appeal to the Court of Appeal. Some are considering this option.

    The case marks a win for Mr K. Shanmugam in his final appearance as a litigator on April 30 before becoming Law Minister. He appeared before High Court Justice Choo Han Teck on behalf of the buyers, Hotel Properties (HPL) and its two partners.

    HPL executive director Christopher Lim said: 'We hope to move forward with it after 1-1/2 years of signing the agreement.'

    They had inked a deal to buy the 99-year leasehold estate for less than $850 per sq ft of gross floor area, before prices shot up dramatically in last year's bull market.

    Some sellers were unhappy with what they regarded as a low price, particularly after a neighbouring development sold for more than double that price. Others, including the objectors, never wanted to sell from day one.

    The objectors had argued, for example, that the sales committee had acted in bad faith in the way it handled an alternative offer of $510 million from another firm as well as the way it distributed the sale proceeds.

    Justice Choo, in his judgment, dismissed the appeal saying there was no error of law to justify overturning a decision of the Strata Titles Board (STB) to allow the sale to go ahead. The STB had found that the sales committee had made a 'judgment call' to proceed with the offer.

    The objectors did not prove the committee had acted in bad faith, he said. This was an issue of fact, not law, so it was within the purview of the STB, he said.

    'From the submissions and supporting documents, it appears that there may have been intrigue in the course of the en bloc sale from the day the SC (sales committee) was created to the proceedings before the STB,' said Justice Choo.

    'It is questionable, however, whether the STB was the forum to resolve all questions arising from secret manoeuvres of the different factions among the subsidiary proprietors.'

    The STB is not a court but a statutory tribunal, he added.

    The Horizon Towers case was the first collective sale where the majority owners were slapped with a lawsuit for alleged breach of contract.

    In late June, Justice Choo also dismissed an appeal by objecting owners of another large collective sale site - Gillman Heights. CapitaLand is the lead buyer of the $548 million site in Alexandra Road.

    [email protected]

Similar Threads

  1. Over at last: Legal dispute over Horizon Towers en bloc sale
    By reporter2 in forum En Bloc Discussion and News
    Replies: 0
    -: 24-10-13, 16:47
  2. It's final: Horizon Towers sale is off
    By mr funny in forum En Bloc Discussion and News
    Replies: 15
    -: 05-04-09, 10:19
  3. Tribunal to hear Horizon Towers collective sale row
    By mr funny in forum En Bloc Discussion and News
    Replies: 1
    -: 12-06-07, 17:41
  4. Small band of dissenters fights en bloc sale frenzy
    By DrMinority in forum En Bloc Discussion and News
    Replies: 0
    -: 04-06-07, 01:12
  5. Some Horizon Towers owners in bid to reverse en bloc sale
    By mr funny in forum En Bloc Discussion and News
    Replies: 21
    -: 17-05-07, 12:07

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •