Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gillman Heights sale finally goes through

THE protracted and controversial sale of Gillman Heights finally came to an end yesterday when owners and buyers completed the $548 million deal.

Lawyers Lee and Lee, acting for the Alexandra Road estate's sale committee, told The Straits Times last night that the deal had finally gone through.

The fate of the estate's sale seemed to hang in the balance when purchasers Ankerite, led by property developer CapitaLand, did not complete the sale by its May 15 due date.

The estate's owners were concerned that the buyers had got cold feet but Ankerite's lawyers, Rajah and Tann, said the buyers had every intention to complete the sale.

Ankerite had raised some issues regarding the estate's management funds and an outstanding legal suit, and wanted proof that these matters were resolved before going ahead with the deal. Rajah and Tann said it received the relevant documents on May 16 - after the completion date.

In a separate statement, CapitaLand confirmed that the 607-unit Gillman Heights purchase by its indirect unit Ankerite was completed yesterday.

This puts an end to a saga that began when the sale was first inked in February 2007. Each owner is expected to get between $870,000 and $950,000 for their units.

The sale was fought at every turn by minority owners, but the Court of Appeal in February dismissed their last-ditch plea to reverse the deal.

Management committee chairman Kok Chong Weng said yesterday that residents are relieved the sale is finally over: 'We have to move on from here.'

The only issue left is whether any compensation will be paid for the one-week delay in the sale. Resident Lim Ah Kim said she felt that owners should be compensated by being paid interest.

Lawyers from both sides are said to be considering the issue. 'If this interest issue should arise, it will be dealt with accordingly,' said a Rajah and Tann spokesman.

The site will now be redeveloped by Ankerite 'into a condominium with approximately 1,000 apartments', said CapitaLand.

Source: Straits Times, 23 May 2009

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