Thu, Aug 17, 2017 - Page 3 News List

CMPC denies links to KMT at assets hearing

UNDERVALUED:A CMPC manager said the KMT had sold the company at a higher value, and not below, as the Ill-gotten Assets Committee claims

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang, left, and Chairman Wellington Koo, second left, hold a hearing in Taipei on Central Motion Picture Co’s alleged links to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

Central Motion Picture Co (CMPC) yesterday rejected allegations that it was affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), saying it has no connection with the party since it was spun off in 2006.

The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee held a hearing yesterday to clarify alleged links between CMPC and the KMT after a committee investigation report released on Wednesday last week said that the value of CMPC was seriously underestimated when it was sold by a holding company owned by the KMT in 2006.

Central Investment Co, a KMT-founded holding company, in April 2006 sold 82.57 percent of CMPC shares to Lor Yu-chen (羅玉珍) and Chuang Wan-chun (莊婉均) at NT$65 per share for a total of NT$3.14 billion (US$103.4 million at the current exchange rate).

Suspecting that the KMT sold the CMPC far below its value to transfer party assets, the committee invited parties involved to testify at the hearing.

CMPC manager Yang Wen-shan (楊文山) denied the alleged link between the KMT and CMPC, and said the company was not sold inappropriately.

While the committee questioned the CMPC value estimate due to its adoption of the government’s “announced values” of CMPC properties, which were well below their real market value, Yang said the real value should be about NT$59 per share factoring in real property value, investment losses and unpaid pensions.

The company was sold at NT$65 per share, higher than its real value, Yang said.

KMT Administration Committee director Chiu Da-chan (邱大展) questioned the validity of the committee investigation and accused the committee of commissioning a “disreputable” appraisal firm to conduct the evaluation.

The registered address of the firm is a cram school and a report is not signed by an accountant, disqualifying the document in court, Chiu said.

However, the committee based its claims on the report and released it to the media to stigmatize CMPC and the KMT, Chiu said.

“I reasonably suspect that it is defamation. It is a mud-slinging strategy and the hearing today is to vilify CMPC and the KMT,” he said.

Former vice premier Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) brought the CMPC case to court in 2007 and nothing illegal was uncovered, Chiu Da-chan said.

“Can a case already resolved in court be reopened and a hearing be held?” he asked.

Committee chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said the buyers, although agreeing to a NT$3.14 billion sale, had only paid about NT$150 million in two installments to acquire about 70 percent of the CMPC shares.

The buyers then took ownership and reduced the share capital of the company, receiving cash in return, and they used the cash on top of their own money to pay for further installments, which allowed buyers to acquire CMPC with about NT$1.2 billion, Koo said, questioning the nature of the transaction.

The committee would decide the link between the KMT and CMPC, and if the company is recognized as a KMT-affiliated organization, it might be asked to return its assets to the state.

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