Edwin Leong Siu-hung, chairman of property developer Tai Hung Fai Enterprise and one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest men, is consolidating a block of properties in Sai Ying Pun, two MTR stations west of Central after spending over HK$1.5 billion ($191 million) to acquire six adjoining sites over the past four years.
A company owned by the billionaire just bought the Butterfly on Waterfront Sheung Wan hotel for HK$810 million ($103 million) from Kai Yuan Holdings, a Thursday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange shows.
With this latest deal, Leong has now acquired six adjacent sites between Wilmer and Sutherland Streets along Connaught Road West, since 2015 and it said to be planning to build an office tower to fill the nearly 120 metre stretch of seaview property.
Billionaire Shop Investor Paves the Way for Sai Ying Pun Office Tower
Leong-owned entity Ridge Avis Limited bought the boutique hotel, at 95 Connaught Road West from a unit of mainland conglomerate Kai Yuan Holdings. The purchase price works out to HK$21,300 per square foot of gross floor area for the 37,939 square foot (3,525 square metre) property, which is a three-minute walk from the entrance to Sai Ying Pun MTR station.
The deal gives Tai Hung Fai six sites in a row along the Western district highway and adds 2,532 square feet to the 10,000 square feet of land that Leong had already acquired at 96-103 Connaught Road West. With a plot ratio of 15 to 1 for commercial sites, Tai Hung Fai can build up to 187,980 square feet of floor area on its consolidated holding.
In June, the developer applied for a compulsory sale for 96 Connaught Road West after acquiring a 93 percent ownership of the building for at least HK$32 million. A year earlier Tai Hung Fai had purchased numbers 97-98 on the same road for HK$133 million in 2016, after consolidating the ownership of 101-102 for HK$309 million in 2015. Media reports in 2015 said that the builder had bought 99-100 and 103 on Connaught Road West for an unknown sum.
Leong appears intent on expanding the Sai Ying Pun site still further with the tycoon said to be eyeing a building at 99, 101 Des Voeux Road West which backs against his Connaught Road West properties. Leong had reportedly accumulated 80 percent ownership in the building for HK$210 million as of August. The site is expected to bring about 70,000 square feet of floor area to the market.
In October, Leong indicated the Sai Ying Pun sites will be developed as an office project or a complex comprising an office building and a hotel, according to local media reports.
Billionaire Bought Exclusive Apartments for HK$1.2B
Edwin Leong, son of Henry G Leong, a comprador of British trading conglomerate Jardine Matheson, is currently ranked as the 23rd richest man in Hong Kong by Forbes.
His company Tai Hung Fai Enterprise has a portfolio comprising hotels, serviced apartments, retail shops, and residential, office and industrial buildings. The developer owns four hotels in the territory including the Hotel Indigo Hong Kong Island in Wan Chai and Holiday Inn Express Hong Kong Mongkok.
Leong has plans to list the property company on the stock exchange, according to a report from 2016. The billionaire attracted media attention by paying HK$1.22 billion ($157.3 million) for three units of the upscale Mount Nicholson apartments at The Peak in late 2016.
Hotel Sells at a 60% Premium
Best known for steel manufacturing, the seller Kai Yuan Holdings, achieved a HK$331M gain on its hotel sale. The industrial holding firm controlled by tycoon Du Shuanghua bought the Butterfly on Waterfront Sheung Wan hotel in 2013 for HK$488 million. The latest sale to Lam brings a total consideration of about HK$819.5 million that represents a 60.18 percent premium over the property’s market value as of March 31, according to the statement.
The Hong Kong-listed firm, which also bought the Paris Marriott hotel in 2014, said it expects to earn a pre-tax gain of approximately HK$336.7 from the disposal. The company said it plans to allocate HK$96 million of the proceedings to the renovation of the Paris Hotel.