Gilstead Court sale takes new twist

PHOTO: Gilstead Court sale takes new twist

The bitter collective sale of Gilstead Court has taken a new twist with three sale committee members launching a $15 million suit against the firm that wants to buy the estate.

Listed developer Tuan Sing Holdings told the Singapore Exchange (SGX) that the trio's High Court claim alleges that the firm "committed a breach of the contract".

Tuan Sing tendered $150.2 million for the site near Novena in June.

The sale first hit rocky ground in July when five owners who had voted against it objected to contentious clauses in the collective sale agreement.

So because the en bloc sale did not have the consent of all owners, it had to go before the Strata Titles Board (STB) for approval, and incur additional fees.

The five dissenters said the clauses would make them bear all the legal fees and costs related to STB proceedings, and could cost them up to $26,000 each.

At a mediation session before the STB late last month, the five said they would sign the collective sale agreement if the penalising clauses were removed.

After mediation efforts broke down, Tuan Sing offered to pay up to $135,000 to help settle the dispute before it goes to the High Court. The sale committee did not accept this offer.

The three sale committee members said in the court documents filed on Oct 16 that the offer was made "to relieve the objectors of their alleged liability".

Tuan Sing denied the allegations, stating in the SGX announcement on Wednesday: "The offer was made to the sale committee, acting for all owners of Gilstead Court. The offer lapsed after Oct 1."

It added that the allegations "are without merit" and that it was consulting its legal counsel on its rights.

However, Tuan Sing said it will also "adhere to the obligations of the contract pending the decision of the High Court".

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