Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團) said yesterday that it was interested in increasing its shares in Taipei Financial Center Corp (TFCC, 台北金融大樓公司), which owns Taipei 101, after acquiring a 19.51 percent stake from China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發金控).
Ting Hsin, owned by Taiwan’s Wei family, is the biggest instant noodle maker in China.
It also operates Wei Chuan Foods Corp (味全食品) in Taiwan.
“From an asset allocation point of view, this has been a pretty good investment for us,” Ting Hsin spokeswoman Sun Shi-chun (孫時淳) said, adding that the company was very bullish about the local economy and the domestic property market.
“We do not rule out the possibility of taking up more shares [in Taipei 101] as a long-term investment,” she said.
Sun said the company had diversified last month into property development and investment, headed by Wei Ing-chiao (魏應交), a younger brother to group chairman Wei Ing-chou (魏應州), and would be evaluating other property investment possibilities in Taiwan and China.
The 19.51 percent stake makes Ting Hsin TFCC’s biggest private shareholder.
But Sun rejected speculation that the company was interested in gaining a majority on the TFCC board or the board chairmanship, which is expected to be reshuffled in late September.
“We haven’t thought about that,” she said.
Both of the Weis, however, are expected to join the 13-member board in September.
Government-appointed directors hold six board seats since the government controls more than a 40 percent stake in the company and is its biggest shareholder.
Victor Hsu (�?, president of Shin Kong Financial Holding Co (新光金控) confirmed yesterday that Ting Hsin has approached TFCC’s other private shareholders and offered to buy up Shin Kong’s 3.25 percent stake.
Shin Kong is mulling the possibility of liquidating its shares, whose current worth may be “only hundreds of millions [in NT dollars]” since the world’s tallest building is still losing money, Hsu said by telephone yesterday.
“That won’t make up what we had invested in the building as one of its original shareholders,” he said.
Taipei 101 cost its original investors about NT$60 billion (US$1.82 billion) to build, but some private investors, banking on the building’s long-term potential, have reportedly rejected Ting Hsin’s offers to buy their shares, including Cathay Life Insurance Co (國泰人壽) and China Life Insurance Co (中國人壽).
Ting Hsin bought China Development Financial Holding Corp shares for NT$3.735 billion (US$113.5 million), or NT$13 per share, in a deal that was inked on Monday night.