The High Court has granted a sale order to Goodluck Garden's S$610 million collective sale on Monday following a lengthy dispute, but Justice Woo Bih Li also criticised marketing agent Knight Frank, the property's collective sale committee (CSC) and the CSC's lawyers Rajah & Tann for how they handled the sale.
Owners of the 210-unit freehold residential development in Toh Tuck Road went to court after several owners objected to the sale.
On Monday morning in Court, Justice Woo said that the valuation of the property by Colliers International, at S$542 million was not flawed, while a belated S$637 million valuation by Asian Assets Allianz - which objectors relied on - was.
He also disagreed with the dissenters' arguments that the fact that two members of the CSC had relatives owning property in Goodluck Garden amounted to an actual or potential conflict of interest. There was no suggestion that the apportionment of sale proceeds was unfair, he said.
Those points, as well as other factors, led him to find no bad faith in the collective sale process.
But he also said that the CSC should have extended the tender by at least one week to give more time to inform bidders and sought owners to decide the next steps following new information that there would be in fact no development charge (DC) on the property. The collective sale committee found out about this from the authorities before the tender closed.
Marketing agent Knight Frank previously gave homeowners several DC estimates, the highest being S$63.19 million, and launched the tender before getting an official response from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) about the actual amount of DC.
Justice Woo also said that the apportionment of sale proceeds and of the terms and conditions of the collective sale agreement (CSA) should have been approved at a general meeting of the management corporation, and through "overt means" such as voting.
Rajah & Tann had advised the CSC that it was enough for those owners who had agreed with those terms to sign the collective sale agreement (CSA) after the meeting.
About 50 people attended the hearing.
The objectors are represented by TSMP Law Corporation's Adrian Tan.
Qingjian, the buyer of Goodluck Garden, declined comment when approached by The Business Times.
This article was first published in The Business Times. Permission required for reproduction.