Gov’t has plan to take over 101: min­is­ter

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOHN LIU

The Min­istry of Fi­nance’s (MOF) bid to tighten con­trol over Taipei 101 by ac­quir­ing more shares will be fi­nal­ized by mid-May at the ear­li­est, a min­is­ter has said.

An ac­qui­si­tion plan has ex­isted for quite some time, ex­cept it was never an­nounced, said Fi­nance Min­is­ter Chang Sheng-ford ( ) in the Leg­isla­tive Yuan yes­ter­day.

The man­age­ment rights of Taipei 101 have gar­nered much public at­ten­tion af­ter its largest pri­vate share­holder Ting Hsin In­ter­na­tional Group ( ) be­came em­broiled in a tainted oil scan­dal. Ting Hsin holds 37.17 per­cent stake in the build­ing.

The gov­ern­ment holds a 44.35-per­cent stake in Taipei 101 and is the land­mark build­ing’s largest share­holder. In an at­tempt to con­sol­i­date man­age­ment rights in the wake of oil scan­dal, the MOF is aim­ing to ac­quire more than a 50-per­cent stake.

The MOF is re­port­edly seek­ing to pur­chase shares that be­long to Cathay Fi­nan­cial Hold­ings Co. ( ), which owns a to­tal of 7.73-per­cent stake in the build­ing. The ac­qui­si­tion price is es­ti­mated to be NT$25 to NT$35 per share.

The MOF’s chief would not spell out the name of the ac­qui­si­tion tar­get, but said a pre­lim­i­nary agree­ment has been reached on the price.

State-owned en­ter­prises that may ac­quire shares in Taipei 101 in­clude Mega Fi­nan­cial Hold­ing Co. ( ), Hua Nan Fi­nan­cial Hold­ing Co. ( ), First Fi­nan­cial Hold­ing Co. ( ), Tai­wan Busi­ness Bank ( ), Tai­wan Co­op­er­ate Bank ( ) and Tai­wan Tobacco and Liquor ( ).

When asked if the gov­ern­ment con­sid­ers buy­ing back from Ting Hsin, Chang stressed that no con­tact has been made with the com­pany’s Wei fam­ily.

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