Sat, Apr 17, 2010 - Page 12 News List

Star Travel may seek private bids for Taipei property

OWNERSHIP DISPUTERealtor Savills Taiwan was confident Star Travel could sell the property, but said it might not command a premium

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

After its open auction failed to attract bids yesterday, Star Travel Corp (燦星旅遊網) may engage in private negotiations with several buyers to liquidate its property on the 10th to 12th floors of the KGI commercial building on Taipei’s Bo-ai Road, auction organizer Savills Taiwan (第一太平戴維斯) said.

“We had nine potential buyers, four of which were highly interested in acquiring the property,” Savills Taiwan vice president Gordon Kao (高銘頂) said by telephone yesterday.

Kao attributed the auction’s failure to the ongoing dispute over rights to the property between Skylark Travel Service Co (天喜旅行社) and Star Travel.

He expressed confidence that Star Travel would be able to sell the property, but added that it might not command a premium price.

Star Travel yesterday said it would continue to seek ways to liquidate the property, which was previously owned by Skylark, but refused to say whether it would enter into direct talks with the four interested buyers, a company executive cited its chairman Chang Chuen (張鈞) as saying.

The executive, who declined to be identified, said Skylark Travel had relinquished its rights to the property to Star Travel in June last year before parent Tsann Kuen Group’s (燦坤) plan to merge its subsidiary Star Travel with cash-strapped Skylark Travel was abandoned.

“It remains our policy to liquidate the property, which we own,” he said.

In the middle of last month, Star Travel announced its plan to auction the 647.19 ping (2,135m²) property, asking for a floor price of NT$350 million (US$11.2 million).

But one day before the auction, Skylark Travel chairman David Kuo (郭正利) told a media briefing that the auction would be illegal since his company had dismissed Star Travel as its representative in organizing the property auction after their planned partnership was canceled.

In May last year, Tsann Kuen came to the rescue of Skylark Travel after it bounced checks totaling NT$6 million to NT$8 million.

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