Singapore

Ex-owner of Le Meridien hotel Rodney Tan made bankrupt

This article is more than 12 months old

Businessman Rodney Tan Boon Kian, whose family used to own five-star hotel Le Meridien Singapore, was made a bankrupt last Thursday after failing to pay legal costs.

His company, Treasure Resort, which owned Le Meridien, was wound up on March 23 this year.

Mr Tan, group chairman of Cairnhill Group Holdings, comes from a hotelier background. In 2009, he was sued by Mr Tan Eck Hong, a minority shareholder in Treasure Resort, over his alleged mismanagement of the company.

"Although Rodney Tan's drive, connections and ideas have assisted the company in its growth from an empty shell to owner of a five-star resort hotel, at the same time, he has used his control of the company to benefit himself... and Cairnhill Group in ways that affected the value of the company, and showed he preferred those interests over the interests of the company and the minority shareholder," Judge of Appeal Judith Prakash said in a judgment issued on Dec 1 last year.

According to the judgment, Mr Rodney Tan had claimed it was because of his "substantial personal net worth, good reputation and experience in the hotel management and hospitality industry, and his strong relationships with banks" that he was approached in 2007 to develop Sijori Resort, a hotel-cum-club, into Treasure Resort Hotel.

That became Movenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa until June 2016, when Le Meridien, then a Starwood brand, took over.

Mr Tan Eck Hong was awarded legal costs of about $1 million in January this year.

When Mr Rodney Tan failed to pay the legal costs, Mr Tan Eck Hong took out a bankruptcy petition against him in March and the High Court issued the bankruptcy order on Thursday.

- GRACE LEONG

BUSINESS & FINANCE