Wed, Dec 24, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Wei Chuan sale fails to attract buyer

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

A shopper walks across a parking lot on land belonging to Ting Hsin International Group in New Taipei City’s Sanchong District on Nov. 22.

Photo: Lee Ya-Wen, Taipei Times

Wei Chuan Foods Corp (味全食品工業) yesterday failed to auction off a plot of land in New Taipei City and its stake in a land development subsidiary, a major setback for its parent company, Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團), as it attempts to sell its non-core businesses in Taiwan.

Wei Chuan announced earlier this month that it planned to sell a 51 percent stake in a land development subsidiary and the real estate in Sanchong District (三重) for at least NT$7 billion (US$220.37 million), representing the first step toward refocusing on its core food business.

“Many potential buyers have expressed a lot of interest in the land development unit, but most of them were unable to complete their evaluations in such a short time,” Wei Chuan said in a statement.

Five bidders joined the auction, but none cut a deal, as their offers were well below the floor price, the Central News Agency reported.

Wei Chuan holds a 51 percent stake in the land development unit, which is a joint venture between Wei Chuan, Ting Ho Development Co Ltd (頂禾開發) — another Ting Hsin subsidiary — and Abico Group (能率集團).

The company said it would not rule out the possibility of holding another auction, or directly contacting potential buyers.

Wei Chuan said it would maintain its strategy of concentrating on its core business after the company’s new chairman, Jason Lee (李鳳翱), vowed last month to regain the public’s trust in the safety of its food products.

Separately, a dozen members of labor group People Are The Boss staged a demonstration in Taipei’s Zhongzheng District (中正), demanding that Ting Hsin allocate the proceeds from the auction to set up a NT$3 billion fund to resolve food safety issues as the company has promised.

The government should confiscate Ting Hsin’s assets and launch an investigation into whether the food conglomerate bribed the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to cover up irregularities at the firm, People Are The Boss member Yuan Kung-chi (袁孔琪) said.

Additional reporting by Lii Wen

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