Deutsche Bank subsidiary files petition seeking liquidation of Hong Kong-listed developer Goldin Financial Holdings
- DB Trustees (Hong Kong) has applied for liquidation to prevent Pan Sutong, Goldin’s chairman, from selling two companies that own its headquarters, source says
- The developer and its creditors are all currently claiming the ownership of its headquarters in Kowloon Bay
A unit of Deutsche Bank has filed a petition in Bermuda seeking the liquidation of Hong Kong-listed developer Goldin Financial Holdings, the company said in a filing to the city’s exchange on Monday.
Goldin said that at about 6pm Hong Kong time on October 7 it received an email from its agent in Bermuda enclosing a copy of the petition, which was dated August 7, and had been presented by DB Trustees (Hong Kong) to the Supreme Court of Bermuda for the “purported winding-up of the company”. It said it would resist the petition.
The developer and its creditors are all currently claiming the ownership of its headquarters, the 28-storey Goldin Financial Global Centre in Kowloon Bay. The petition in Bermuda is being viewed as another attempt by receivers and managers engaged by the creditors to keep Goldin from selling the property on its own.
Goldin unit Smart Edge, which effectively owns the building, borrowed HK$6.8 billion (US$877.37 million) from a group of undisclosed lenders in April 2019. While Deutsche Bank was the facility agent, its subsidiary DB Trustees was the trustee to the loan deal. Smart Edge fell behind on its loan obligations, breached the loan covenants because occupancy and debt servicing fell below agreed levels, according to previous filings with the Hong Kong exchange. Goldin’s other units, Cheng Mei and Goal Eagle, also received a demand from lenders in July this year for HK$1.5 billion and HK$1.9 billion, respectively, for two separate loans tied to the head quarters.
Pan Sutong, Goldin’s billionaire chairman, then decided to sell the two companies that own the building to another buyer.
“Deutsche Bank has applied for liquidation because of this. It still depends on the court’s ruling,” the source said. “There have already been lawsuits regarding the dispute, with the [creditors] losing the first one and then winning the second one. So, even if there is a judgment this time, it may not mean the end [of the saga].”
DB Trustees declined to comment on the matter.
Goldin said on Monday that it had not had enough time to fully comprehend the effects of the petition, and had instructed legal counsel in Bermuda through a firm of solicitors in Hong Kong to advise on the petition, and to attend a hearing on October 9, which was subsequently adjourned to October 30.
Goldin’s liabilities amounted to less than HK$18 billion in total as of June 30, according to its annual accounts, which were published recently. Its cash reserves, however, stood at HK$23 million, having dropped sharply from HK$2.4 billion as of December 31 last year.