Business

Impasse between Capitol owners after ruling

A court ruling yesterday has left an impasse between the joint owners of iconic heritage property Capitol Singapore no closer to resolution.

Perennial Real Estate Holdings had filed applications last year to wind up three associated firms holding the assets of mixed-use project Capitol Singapore on Stamford Road.

The High Court dismissed the winding-up applications yesterday. There is one month to appeal.

Perennial said it "will review the court's judgment and explore all available options, including an appeal, before deciding on the next course of action".

It previously told the Singapore Exchange that the shareholders and management of the Capitol entities were "in deadlock", unable to agree on some key issues over the project.

Perennial owns an effective 50 per cent of each of the three associates.

The other 50 per cent is held by Chesham Properties, an affiliate of private luxury developer Pontiac Land Group, owner of the Ritz-Carlton and Conrad Centennial hotels, and held by the Kwee family.

Senior Counsel Davinder Singh and lawyer Pardeep Singh of Drew & Napier represented Chesham.

The development includes three conservation buildings: Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building and Stamford House.

Perennial also said last year that it was willing to buy Chesham's 50 per cent or sell its half to Chesham. It is also open to having all shares sold to a third party.

The firm had also noted that the winding-up applications would serve to "protect and preserve" Capitol Singapore's assets until the High Court determined the processes.

But Justice Kannan Ramesh accepted Chesham's argument that it would not be just and equitable to wind up the companies because there is an exit mechanism available to Perennial under the constitutions of the companies, which provide one party to offer to sell its shares to the other at a fair value.

In 2010, the firms behind Capitol Singapore had come together after winning the bid.

The idea was to restore the conserved heritage buildings, turning the development into a landmark and injecting new vibrancy into the City Hall area.

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