Collective sale of Goodluck Garden gets High Court nod, but Judge points out ‘missteps’ in sale process

/ EdgeProp Singapore
November 27, 2018 12:50 AM SGT
The collective sale of Goodluck Garden received the go-ahead at the High Court on Monday, Nov 26. The 210-unit freehold Goodluck Garden on Toh Tuck Road was sold en bloc to Qingjian Realty, which submitted the highest bid of $610 million at the close of the tender in March this year. In April, Perennial Real Estate Holdings became a co-developer with a 40% stake in the joint venture with Qingjian.
The court was informed to obtain an order by Nov 26, failing which the purchaser who has entered into a sale and purchase agreement to buy the property “may treat it as rescinded”. Hence, the oral judgement was rendered first.
The collective sale of Goodluck Garden hit a rough patch when 13 minority owners filed their objections to the High Court after two rounds of mediation at the Strata Titles Board (STB) in June had failed. STB then issued a stop order on June 27. The case was heard in High Court in September, with the verdict delivered by Justice Woo Bih Li on the morning of Nov 26.
Goodluck Garden was sold en bloc to Qingjian Realty as it had submitted the highest bid at the close of the tender in March (Photo Credit: Knight Frank)
One of the issues raised by the minority owners was the potential conflicts of interest as the collective sale committee (CSC) chairman and another CSC member did not disclose that they had relatives (“associates”) who own units in Goodluck Garden. Hence, the collective sale transaction was deemed “not in good faith”. The minority owners were represented by the lawyers at TSMP Law Corporation led by partner, Adrian Tan.
However, Justice Woo said that the mere fact that an associate owns another unit does not necessarily mean that there is an actual or a potential conflict. On the other hand, he agreed that the matter should have been better handled by the CSC and their lawyers, Rajah & Tann Singapore. “Even though the lawyers had advised that there was no conflict, the lawyers should also have advised them to disclose the ownership of their associates to avoid unnecessary suspicion,” he added.
Another issue raised by the minority owners was that approvals of apportionment of sale proceeds and of terms and conditions of...