TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Japanese trading house Itochu Corporation (伊藤忠) has completed its acquisition of scandal-stricken Ting Hsin International’s (頂新集團) 37.17-percent stake in Taipei 101 for US$665 million (NT$20.3 billion) to become the landmark’s largest foreign shareholder, reports said Tuesday.
Ever since the Wei brothers’ Ting Hsin became embroiled in a series of food safety scandals in 2013, it tried to offload its stake in Taiwan’s tallest building, but initially without much success.
The transaction with Itochu was completed on Monday, and also included Ting Hsin spending US$440 million (NT$13.4 billion) to buy back a stake of 17.83 percent from Itochu in a Cayman Islands-registered Ting Hsin holding company, the Central News Agency reported.
The deal marked the complete removal of Ting Hsin from Taipei 101, with its five seats on the board being transferred to the Japanese trading company. The recent transactions will leave the Taiwanese group with NT$15 billion (US$489 million) in profits, CNA estimated.
Ting Hsin, which runs a foods conglomerate based in China, now only has two major businesses left in Taiwan, Wei Chuan Foods and mobile operator Taiwan Star Telecom.
Angela Chang (張振亞), a former chief executive director of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Thinking Taiwan Foundation (小英基金會), was appointed president of Taipei 101 at a board meeting earlier in July. Chou Te-yu (周德宇), the chairman of the Taipei Financial Center Corporation, as the company owning Taipei 101 is officially known, remained in place.