Trinity: Talam debt recovery deal ‘not so sweet’
KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Trinity Corporation, the company formerly known as Talam Corporation, has denied allegations that it sold land to the Selangor state government at above market value, pointing out today that the valuation fell under the scrutiny of the Securities Commission’s Assets Valuation Department.
The company added in a stock exchange filing today that the valuation was also approved by SC and Bursa Malaysia.
“In this valuation, the existence of the submerged land was taken into consideration in the said report and the cost of having to fill up the inundated portion amounting to RM51.5 million was taken into consideration in the valuation report,” the company said.
Trinity’s latest filing today was made in response to claims made yesterday by the MCA’s Datuk Chua Tee Yong that the Selangor government had overpaid Talam Corp at least RM28.3 million for four plots of mostly swamp land.
He was referring to 134.34 acres at Danau Putra, which he said the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government had agreed to buy at a price of RM87.7 million (RM15 per square feet) on March 12, 2010.
Trinity said today that Chua’s statements “are not wholly accurate,” but it could not address the issue directly because an auction of the land is now the subject of a lawsuit.
However, the company pointed out that that there was a full and frank disclosure of the circumstances of the land prior to its transaction with the state.
Trinity said the land was valued at RM15.98 per sq ft after deducting the RM51.5 million cost of filling that worked out to be approximately RM8.82 per sq ft.
As to why the valuation for the purposes of the auction determined the said land to be at RM5.20 per sq ft, the company said the matter was now in dispute in court.
“In order to eradicate doubts engulfing the transaction of the plots of land at Danau Putra, we wish to state that the total valuation by the professional and independent valuer of the plots of land transacted was RM935 million but the transacted price with the Selangor state was only at RM877 million, with a discount of RM5.8 million, hence not a deal as “sweet” for Trinity Corporation Berhad as portrayed or perceived,” the company said.
Trinity added that the fact the land was the subject of an auction had also been disclosed in its annual reports for 2011 and 2012.
“Trinity Corporation Berhad had revealed that if the legal dispute is not settled in favour of the state, Trinity Corporation Berhad shall identify a new piece of land to replace the land which has been auctioned. Hence, there would be no loss to the state arising from the legal dispute,” the company said.
It also pointed out that that while the plots of land are partly submerged, all of them have existing purchasers.
MCA’s Chua had last week alleged that Selangor had used RM1 billion in public funds to bail out Talam, but then appeared to scale back his claims to an overpayment of RM42 million in a land purchase.
The Selangor mentri besar has threatened to sue Chua, while the DAP is pressing him to prove the alleged RM1 billion land scandal in Selangor.
Chua is scheduled to hold another press conference tomorrow to make what he claims will be more allegations on the issue.