Sat, May 03, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Lack of bids delays Sunrise sale again

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The sale of the financially troubled Sunrise Department Store (中興百貨) will be postponed for another month, as none of the investors have submitted potential bids, real estate agency Savills Taiwan (第一太平戴維斯台灣) said yesterday.

“As Sunrise Department Store will close in July, investors said they were worried about finding tenants after buying the retail property and needed more information regarding future rent income,” Gordon Kao (高銘頂), director of Savills Taiwan, said by telephone yesterday.

Savills Taiwan originally said in late March that it planned to close the deal by the end of last month, with prices ranging between NT$1.7 billion (US$55.83 million) and NT$2 billion. But the price was lowered to between NT$1.5 billion and NT$1.7 billion last month, based on the prices that potential investors verbally discussed with them.

The price that Sunrise Department Store initially proposed was NT$2 billion.

“Although Savills Taiwan has verbally discussed [the price] with the investors, the actual bid price still has to be based on written documents,” Kao said.

“The selling of Sunrise’s retail property will take another two to three weeks, or even up to a month,” Kao said.

Four potential investors have been in talks with Savills Taiwan, including retail property investors from Hong Kong and Taiwan, Kao said.

As to rumors that Want Want Group (旺旺集團), a major food manufacturer in Taiwan, is one of the potential investors, Kao said the group had inquired about it, but had not further evaluated the department store’s investment potential.

The sale of Sunrise Department Store, formerly known as Sesame Department Store (芝麻百貨), will include floors from B2 to the fourth floor for a total of 2630.46 pings. The average selling price would be around NT$608,000 per ping if the retail property were sold at NT$1.6 billion, Kao said.

Sunrise, which began its clearance sales on April 18, currently has debt totaling NT$900 million, including NT$50 million in overdue salaries for its 80 employees. Sunrise plans to end its operations by the end of July, Sunrise’s spokeswoman Miki Yu (游明親) said yesterday.

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