Blackstone interested in Taipei 101: reports

by Matthew Strong

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – New York-based investment company The Blackstone Group L.P. was interested in buying a 38-percent stake in Taipei 101, according to reports by news agency Reuters Tuesday.

The news came a day before a board meeting by Taipei Financial Center Corporation, the company behind Taiwan’s tallest building.

After Ting Hsin International became embroiled in a series of food safety scandals over the past few years, its top officials resigned from leadership positions at TFCC and it tried to sell off its stake of 38 percent in the building.

The Blackstone Group reportedly assured the Taiwanese government it would not use capital from China to buy the tower, a sensitive subject on the island. A previous major bid by Malaysia’s IOI Properties Group Bhd for control over the building partly foundered because of doubts over the origin of its money, reports at the time said. The company scrapped its acquisition plans last March.

Wednesday’s TFCC board meeting will discuss a proposal to give The Blackstone Group access to its books for due diligence on the matter, Reuters reported.

Blackstone itself remained silent about the reports of its interest in Taipei 101. The company presents itself as a multinational private equity, investment banking, alternative asset management and financial services corporation. In East Asia, it has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore.

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