Lai Sun Development
Lai Sun Development ("LSD") is a property developer in Hong Kong, public company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange SEHK: 488 established in 1987 by the textiles magnate Lim Por-yen. His company, Lai Sun Garment, ("LSG") was founded in 1947, is also listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Lai Sun Garment is the controlling shareholder in LSD.
1997 financial crisisEdit
Lai Sun Development, then already under the management of Peter Lam, paid HK$7 billion for Furama Hotel Enterprises in June 1997. Lai Sun acquired a 45.42 per cent stake for $3.13 billion, and made a general offer at $33.50 for each remaining shares at a total cost of $6.893 billion.
While the other Furama Group hotels became part of the hotels division, Lai Sun Hotels, LSD intended to combine the Furama plot with the Ritz Carlton plot, which it already owned, for redevelopment into a prime office block. Then the Asian financial crisis struck, plunging the entire group into distress and forced asset sales.
The company had geared itself up heavily in order to finance the acquisition at the top of the market. It had taken took on $5 billion in bank loans and issued bonds worth more than $2 billion. Its value halved in the ensuing months, plunging the company into crisis. In 2000, the parent company commenced restructuring the group operations. In March 2000, LSD announced that a 65% stake in the Furama would be sold to a 50:50 joint venture between Pidemco, controlled by Temasek Holdings, and AIG for HK$1.88 billion. As part of the deal, Lai Sun would continue to operate the hotel until its redevelopment, at an annual rental of HK$145 million. The Furama closed in November, and was demolished in December 2001. Together with CapitaLand, and AIG, LSD formed Bayshore Development Group to develop AIG Tower, a 39-storey commercial office block with a gross floor area of 450,000 square foot (41,800 m²). AIG and CapitaLand each owned 35 per cent, and Lai Sun owns 30 per cent.
The asset sales to ungear the company continued - debt remained above HK$6 billion as at September 2002, when LSD sold its 32.75 per cent stake in Asia Television (ATV) to its chief executive, Chan Wing-kee, for HK$360 million
Ritz Carlton plotEdit
The plot was held by Diamond String, a 76.57% group-owned entity. In November 2007, it was announced that China Construction Bank ("CCB") would take a 40% stake in the company for a consideration of HK$1.37 billion, while LSD stake would fall to 60%. The project to redevelop the 14,900 sq ft (1,380 m2) site as an office tower, due to complete in 2011, will be partly occupied by the CCB. The hotel formally closed its doors on 1 January 2008, and has become probably the largest billboard in Hong Kong.
- Raymond Wang and Teddy Ng, Lai Sun Group founder Lim dies at 93 Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 19 February 2005
- Dennis Eng, A little less debt for ailing Lai Sun Archived 2007-11-02 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 18 November 2002
- Veronica Luk, Furama stock skyrockets after Lai Sun stake purchase Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 21 June 1997
- Clare Cheung, Lai Sun in move to bail out unit Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 11 March 2000
- AIG joins Pidemco in $1.88b bid for 65pc of waterfront site Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 1 March 2000
- Reuters story, Lai Sun joins $4b office venture at Furama site Archived 2012-03-14 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 30 July 2002
- 'In Brief', "CCB pays HK$1.37bn for 40% stake in Ritz Carlton owner", Pg B2, South China Morning Post, 9 November 2007
- Victor Cheung, "CCB secures new Central abode for $1.3b" Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, 9 November 2007