Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp (KCRC) are offering to sell their commercial complex The Metropolis in Hunghom by tender with a clause that could dampen investor interest. The clause gives Cheung Kong and KCRC the ultimate right to buy the hotel and retail portions at prices above the highest bids received from the tender, which will close on May 6. Analysts said the condition would discourage buyers because Cheung Kong was regarded as a potential buyer considering its great interest in strengthening its presence in Hunghom. On sale is the completed phase one, providing a total gross floor area of 1.04 million square feet - with a 690-room hotel, a 344,340 sq ft retail centre and a 15-storey office block. The hotel and retail centre are offered separately, while the office block is to be sold floor by floor. Cheung Kong executive director Justin Chiu Kwok-hung said it was interested in the project, which the group developed. But he would not say if it would submit tenders. KCRC property director Daniel Lam said that, under the joint-venture agreement, Cheung Kong and KCRC had the right to buy the hotel and retail portions at a price higher than tender offers within 90 days of the close of tenders. 'The agreement was set in 1999 to avoid investors uniting together to pressure the price,' he said, adding that announcing the clause was intended to increase the tender's transparency. He said they had appointed three independent surveyors to value the complex and they would take the valuation as a reference to decide whether to accept the offers. However, estate agents said it was unusual for a vendor to announce it had the right to be the ultimate purchaser. 'In fact, it is understood the vendor will not sell the property when offers are unsatisfactory. No one will make a good offer if it is possible to be outbid easily by the vendor in the end, even if it was the highest bid in the tender,' an agent said. Cheung Kong acquired two major commercial sites in Hunghom for HK$1.74 billion at public auctions last year. SK Pang Surveyors managing director Pang Shiu-Kee said the tender move might be caused by a disagreement between Cheung Kong and KCRC on the value. He said it was hard to value such a large-scale commercial complex as there was no direct comparison. Some surveyors had estimated the complex's value at more than HK$3 billion.