TYCOON Lee Shau-kee and his son-in-law William Cheng Kai-man have paid $170 million for about 29,000 sq ft of retail space at Wellington Place in Central, sources say. It is uncertain whether they bought the premises in a personal capacity or through their listed companies, Henderson Land Development and Magnificent Estates. Their joint bid was the highest of several offers in a tender organised by Jones Lang Wootton. Ocean Tower Investments, as the mortgagee, took possession of the retail podium on November 3 as the Moscan Group, which acquired Wellington Place last year, defaulted on loan repayments. Sources said the selling price for the retail podium was in line with expectations and Mr Lee and Mr Cheng were likely to hold it for rental purposes. Moscan, which bought the 24-storey Wellington Place for $1.02 billion from SEA Holdings, sold the office floors for $540 million to a mainland-backed company in October. Analysts estimated that Moscan lost more than $300 million in the purchase and sale of Wellington Place, which comprises about 100,000 sq ft of office and retail spaces. Moscan was formed by several private companies including Mass Resources Development. Mass Resources' aggressive acquisitional strategy has been dealt a blow by the property market's dramatic correction. It recently failed to complete a $1 billion purchase of 208 flats in Laguna City, which it had agreed last year to buy from Cheung Kong (Holdings).