Hong Kong billionaire Tang Shing-bor, whose family owns commercial and residential properties in the city, has settled a court case against him over unpaid rent. The case was filed against the "Shop King" after he failed to pay rent of nearly HK$12 million ($1.5 million) for one of his hotels in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Stan Group (Holdings) Ltd., the company handling Tang's assets in Hong Kong, said in response to the legal action that it had settled the case out of court. It said the owner of the property had withdrawn the action against Tang. Stan Group didn't provide any other details.
The suit was filed by four companies that own the building housing Tang's hotel. The respondent was named as a company called Prince Winner. Tang and his son Stan Tang Yiu-sing are both directors. The company reportedly owes more than 10 months' rent for October 2019 to July 2020.
According to court documents filed with the city's High Court, Prince Winner was obligated to pay rent because it signed a five-year lease from March 2019 to January 2024. Rent was HK$1.15 million a month.
Prince Winner used the building for its Minimal Hotel Avenue, which is directly managed by one of Tang's other companies called Living Group. In turn, Living Group is a subsidiary of Stan Group, which is chaired by Tang's son Stan. Stan Group owns four other Minimal Hotel Avenues in Causeway Bay, Hung Hom, Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po.
There have been rumors the tycoon was in financial difficulty. Stan Group said the operating income and revenues of Tang's group were not heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The company said the group's hotels accounted for a small portion only of total revenues.
The rumors started when the Tang family said it had sold properties for more than HK$1 billion so far this year. During that time, Tang said his company had simply conducted a strategic review of its more than HK$80 billion in assets. The sale of some of its non-core properties was a result of that process.