A new lawsuit has just been filed against Horizon Towers’ failed collective sale.

A group of minority owners at Horizon Towers have filed a lawsuit against some members of the original sales committee for their handling of the collective sale. These minority owners had originally opposed the Leonie Hill development sale.

The minority owners are looking to reclaim about $1 million in administrative and legal costs, which they claim they incurred during the extensive fight to keep their homes, based on documents filed with the High Court.

The sale of Horizon Towers, which was initially tabled for $500 million to Hotel Properties Ltd (HPL) in January 2007, has been among the most dramatic and long-drawn-out collective battles in history. The whole issue spanned more than two years and went back and forth between the High Court and Strata Titles Board (STB) twice before finally being decided in the Court of Appeal.

In April 2009, the Court of Appeal ruled that the deal could not push through, as the sales committee of the development failed to fulfill its duty on several counts.

Presently, three groups of minority owners, represented by Kannan Ramesh of Tan Kok Quan Partnership, have cited landmark judgment as the basis on which to ask for reimbursement for the large amount of money they have spent in this dispute.
Based on the claim of the minority owners, Mr. Tan and Mr. Samtani had “pushed for a quick sale of the property for their personal benefit”, since both had purchased additional units in Horizon Towers right at the beginning of the en bloc sale process, and were keen to benefit from the sales proceeds.

The minorities’ statement of claim frequently cites the judgment of the Court of Appeal which had accepted, as facts of the case, that:

– Mr. Tan and Mr. Samtani had purchased additional units in the development.

– The committee for sales had received from Vineyard Holdings an alternative higher offer of $510 million a day before HPL verbally indicated its willingness to acquire the development for $500 million.

– The sales committee agreed to proceed and sell Horizon Towers to HPL, despite a suggestion from one member of the committee to seek first the approval of the other consenting owners as property prices had increased.