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Cairnhill Mansions en bloc: It's a 'go'

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The S$362 million collective sale of Cairnhill Mansions will proceed at that price, thanks to a settlement that gives the penthouse owner who objected to the sale an extra S$867,004.79.

Singapore

THE S$362 million collective sale of Cairnhill Mansions will proceed at that price, thanks to a settlement that gives the penthouse owner who objected to the sale an extra S$867,004.79.

This sum is to be equally borne by the owners of the other units in the development, the High Court ordered on Thursday afternoon.

Mediation between the objector, Djie Tjoe Nio, and the collective sale committee began on Tuesday this week and carried on "into the wee hours of the night", said Justice Quentin Loh in his oral grounds.

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The S$867,004.79 represents 0.25 per cent of the sale proceeds of the other 60 units. In other words, Mrs Nio, who was originally supposed to pocket close to S$15.2 million from the sale, will now get around S$16 million for her 792 sq m unit.

The owners of the other units, each 188 sq m in size, will each get about S$14,400 less than the S$5.77 million apiece they were supposed to receive.

In the session attended by more than 20 people, including two of the three plaintiffs (also members of the collective sale committee or CSC) and the defendant Mrs Nio and her family, Justice Quentin Loh said he was satisfied this payment was "just and equitable".

The plaintiffs are Henry Tong, Sam Chong Keen and Charles Ho.

The law says the Court can order an increase to the proceeds of sale for an objector if it is satisfied that it would be just and equitable to do so.

The total sum can be paid from the proceeds of the sales of the owners, and cannot exceed 0.25 per cent of the proceeds of sale for each unit or S$2,000 for each unit, whichever is higher.

In the case of Shunfu Ville, an objecting owner had raised her objection to Strata Titles Board (STB) that she had purchased her unit at a premium and spent a considerable amount of money renovating her unit. The CSC for the development eventually agreed to raise her sale proceeds, which the judge had approved.

Justice Loh noted that in the Cairnhill case, the collective sale agreement approved by subsidiary proprietors at the extraordinary general meeting said the sellers are to agree to a High Court order if it finds it just and equitable to increase the proceeds by objecting owners.

The collective sale agreement also states that the sale committee has the power to consent to any proposed order of the High Court in such a scenario.

Low Keng Huat had bought the property in February at 69 Cairnhill Road for S$362 million in February. It was the property's fifth collective sale bid. Four months later, the civil engineering and property development company also bought the adjacent 67 Cairnhill Road for S$100 million.

But the owner of the penthouse at 69 objected to the sale, saying that the method of valuation was wrong and worked unfairly against her, leading the STB to issue a stop order and the collective sale committee to then apply to the High Court to approve the sale.

"Her case was not that she would suffer a financial loss," Justice Loh said, adding that the law "is a means to address specific inequities that can arise in a collective sale".

The lawyers representing the CSC were Lee Liat Yeang and Ling Tien Wah of Dentons Rodyk & Davidson; those representing the objector were Adrian Tan and Ong Pei Ching of TSMP Law Corporation.

Other collective sales who have been given the green light after going to court include that of The Wilshire and Katong Park Towers.