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HomeNewsArchivesWICO HEAD SAYS MALAYSIAN NEVER NEGOTIATED

WICO HEAD SAYS MALAYSIAN NEVER NEGOTIATED

Malaysian developer Tan Kay Hock's representative "has not negotiated" with the West Indian Co. Ltd. over terms of a lease "and it appears he does not intend to do so," WICO's president and CEO has said.
Edward E. Thomas released excerpts Wednesday of correspondence with the Public Finance Authority over the status of Tan's negotiations to lease 7 acres at the Long Bay landfill for a $200 million hotel-condominium-marina complex.
Thomas' scathing letter makes it clear that WICO officials believe the developer expected to dictate terms of the lease — something WICO officials decisively rejected.
"The property will not be given away," Thomas wrote the PFA. "It is only fair and prudent for WICO to get a decent financial return for the use of this valuable property."
Thomas apparently released portions of his letter in response to a press release last week from the Public Finance Authority urging WICO to keep the door open for negotiations for the Long Bay project, planned for the site of the derelict Yacht Haven Hotel which Tan now owns.
In response to the authority's request that "this investor (be) adequately nurtured and encouraged to maintain his interest in the territory," Thomas wrote:
"WICO has not closed the door to negotiations but it takes two parties to negotiate. In the process, one party should not expect to dictate the terms and conditions of the negotiations.
"In fact, there has been one discussion between the WICO negotiating team and the representative of Johan Holdings Berhard, Mr. Ian Peacocke.
"Mr. Peacocke has not negotiated, and it appears he does not intend to do so, and has stated and reiterated, the conditions of a lease to which the WICO board must agree and the proposal was Johan Holdings Berhard's final offer.
"We are not sure of the basis for his adamant stance but the members of the negotiating team feel that position is unreasonable, not in the best interest of this territory, and recommended against approval of such a proposal."
Thomas went on to say that "the attention being given" to Peacocke and the development company "must give them a feeling of support not shared by the negotiating team. It may be that Johan Holdings Berhard is accustomed to dictate terms of leases that benefit them only. No financial data or business plan has been provided to us to help us analyze the project and, if they are encouraged to proceed as they wish, no one will ever be privy to those necessary documents."
Thomas said WICO officials have discussed the stalemate with Gov.-elect Charles W. Turnbull, who would have to approve any modification to the existing Coastal Zone Management permit for the landfill site before sending it to the Legislature for its OK.
Turnbull's views about the proposed project are "not as enthusiastic as presented" by the PFA, Thomas noted.
WICO first met with Peacocke in October 1997, Thomas said, but Peacocke didn't submit a proposal to WICO until August 1998.
"And notwithstanding the size of the project and the lack of information about it, he expected an expedited approval on his terms and conditions," Thomas told the PFA. "We do not know what was promised Johan Holdings Berhard but the WICO board members do not feel bound by any commitments that may have been made; we have made none.
Thomas said the WICO board had no objection to the PFA's suggestion that the board hire a reputable Realtor to advise members on the terms of the project but added, "We would not be bound by his/her views since we cannot transfer to him/her the fiduciary responsibility we have."
Editor's note: Please see earlier story on the PFA's recommendations. For a list of WICO board members, check out the Community/Data site.

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Malaysian developer Tan Kay Hock's representative "has not negotiated" with the West Indian Co. Ltd. over terms of a lease "and it appears he does not intend to do so," WICO's president and CEO has said.
Edward E. Thomas released excerpts Wednesday of correspondence with the Public Finance Authority over the status of Tan's negotiations to lease 7 acres at the Long Bay landfill for a $200 million hotel-condominium-marina complex.
Thomas' scathing letter makes it clear that WICO officials believe the developer expected to dictate terms of the lease — something WICO officials decisively rejected.
"The property will not be given away," Thomas wrote the PFA. "It is only fair and prudent for WICO to get a decent financial return for the use of this valuable property."
Thomas apparently released portions of his letter in response to a press release last week from the Public Finance Authority urging WICO to keep the door open for negotiations for the Long Bay project, planned for the site of the derelict Yacht Haven Hotel which Tan now owns.
In response to the authority's request that "this investor (be) adequately nurtured and encouraged to maintain his interest in the territory," Thomas wrote:
"WICO has not closed the door to negotiations but it takes two parties to negotiate. In the process, one party should not expect to dictate the terms and conditions of the negotiations.
"In fact, there has been one discussion between the WICO negotiating team and the representative of Johan Holdings Berhard, Mr. Ian Peacocke.
"Mr. Peacocke has not negotiated, and it appears he does not intend to do so, and has stated and reiterated, the conditions of a lease to which the WICO board must agree and the proposal was Johan Holdings Berhard's final offer.
"We are not sure of the basis for his adamant stance but the members of the negotiating team feel that position is unreasonable, not in the best interest of this territory, and recommended against approval of such a proposal."
Thomas went on to say that "the attention being given" to Peacocke and the development company "must give them a feeling of support not shared by the negotiating team. It may be that Johan Holdings Berhard is accustomed to dictate terms of leases that benefit them only. No financial data or business plan has been provided to us to help us analyze the project and, if they are encouraged to proceed as they wish, no one will ever be privy to those necessary documents."
Thomas said WICO officials have discussed the stalemate with Gov.-elect Charles W. Turnbull, who would have to approve any modification to the existing Coastal Zone Management permit for the landfill site before sending it to the Legislature for its OK.
Turnbull's views about the proposed project are "not as enthusiastic as presented" by the PFA, Thomas noted.
WICO first met with Peacocke in October 1997, Thomas said, but Peacocke didn't submit a proposal to WICO until August 1998.
"And notwithstanding the size of the project and the lack of information about it, he expected an expedited approval on his terms and conditions," Thomas told the PFA. "We do not know what was promised Johan Holdings Berhard but the WICO board members do not feel bound by any commitments that may have been made; we have made none.
Thomas said the WICO board had no objection to the PFA's suggestion that the board hire a reputable Realtor to advise members on the terms of the project but added, "We would not be bound by his/her views since we cannot transfer to him/her the fiduciary responsibility we have."
Editor's note: Please see earlier story on the PFA's recommendations. For a list of WICO board members, check out the Community/Data site.