Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Bitter row over Macau hotel still not resolved

Bookings resume as representatives of the two main shareholders reveal more details on ownership row

1 comment:

Guanyu 道 said...

Bitter row over Macau hotel still not resolved

Bookings resume as representatives of the two main shareholders reveal more details on ownership row

Jolie Ho
04 June 2012

Shareholders in the Macau New Century Hotel remained deadlocked yesterday despite the resumption of limited booking services that were temporarily suspended on Monday amid an ownership dispute.

Back-to-back press conferences were held for the second day running by representatives of the two shareholders, Chen Meihuan and Ng Man-sun, who is recovering in hospital from a brutal, triad-style attack.

Chan Pui-ching reiterated that Chen Meihuan, her sister, owned 80 per cent of the shares in the hotel and that Ng was trying to take back control of the operation.

She said the dispute started last year when Ng asked Chen Meihuan to let him return to running the business, which she had turned from a heavily indebted operation into a profitable one.

But Lee Soi-peng, representative of the Macau gambling tycoon also known as Ng Wai, said the shares had been transferred to Chen to help her secure two plots of land on Taipa Island on the understanding they would be returned if she failed to get the land.

“Chen pleaded with Ng to transfer 80 per cent of the hotel’s shares to her for applying for the use of Taipa land plots numbers 7 and 8 in September 2011,” Lee said.

“She promised that if she could not get the two plots within six months, she would return the 80 per cent share to him unconditionally.

Lee said Chen and Ng had been lovers and were cohabiting but after Ng signed the share transfer she was seldom seen. “The last time was on January 22.”

Ng accused Chen of fraud on June 6. On June 24, he and his secretary were attacked with hammers and sticks in the hotel’s Chinese restaurant.

The hotel temporarily suspended business on Monday as Lee and Chan Pui-ching stated their conflicting positions on the share ownership.

Lee said it was business as usual. “[Monday] was just a special case so we asked the staff to take one day off. We did not dismiss anybody,” she said.

But when a Post reporter tried make bookings at the hotel yesterday, a staff member said only one-night bookings could be made and it was not certain whether there would be rooms vacant today.

Hotel guest Liu Ya, 26, from Chongqing, said she did not know the hotel had suspended its business on Monday but was not allowed to extend her room booking when she tried to do so yesterday. “I planned to stay until Friday but they told me that I have to move out today,” she said. I have a lot of luggage and now I have to find a new hotel,” she complained.

Dozens of police were guarding the hotel yesterday and Macau Labour Affairs Bureau staffs were also on hand to check on a labour dispute.