Wed, Jul 08, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Chinese firm acquires 20% stake in Taipei 101

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF WRITER, WITH BLOOMBERG

Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團), China’s biggest packaged food maker, has acquired a stake of almost 20 percent in Taipei Financial Center Corp (TFCC, 台北金融大樓公司), which owns Taipei 101.

Ting Hsin, which owns Wei Chuan Foods Corp (味全食品) and the instant-noodle brand Master Kong (康師傅), bought 19.51 percent of TFCC’s shares from China Development Financial Holding Corp (中華開發) for NT$3.735 billion (US$113.5 million), or NT$13 per share, a TFCC official said.

TFCC assistant vice president and spokesman Michael Liu (劉家豪) said the two sides inked a deal on Monday night that would make Ting Hsin the company’s largest private shareholder.

The government remains the biggest shareholder, controlling a 40 percent stake in the company. That allows it to have five board director’s seats as well as two independent director’s seats.

Liu said the transaction would not alter the firm’s operations or the makeup of its board.

The Ministry of Finance said it was not in a position to comment on the transfer of private shares. It said the government would seek to retain control of TFCC and appoint its chairman and president.

“Many felt Taipei 101 was not a good investment, so selling the stake for a profit bodes well with the investors,” Sinopac Securities Corp analyst Julie Chu said.

Meanwhile, the committee of the Financial Restructuring Fund (金融重建基金), which owns a 15 percent stake in TFCC, will seek the right time to liquidate its shares, a Financial Supervisory Commission official said yesterday.

Jean Chiu (邱淑貞), the chief secretary of the commission’s banking bureau, said that the fund would not hold any assets for long-term investments.

If the fund is to release the stake, it will hire financial consultants to price the shares in accordance with market conditions, she said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JOYCE HUANG

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