BIZCHINA> Direct Investment
AIG buys 13.5% of China's Lifan for $90m
Updated: 2008-07-22 09:21

China's largest motorcycle maker, Lifan Group, which is diversifying into car production, has sold a 13.5 percent stake to US-based global insurer and financial services firm American International Group Inc (AIG) for $90 million, two Lifan executives said on Monday.

The deal has won regulatory approval and will pave the way for Lifan's planned stock market listing, said one of the executives.

Yin Mingshan, Lifan's majority shareholder, said last October that his firm aimed to raise more than 1 billion yuan ($147 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) in 2008 and had hired Guotai Junan Securities, a major Chinese brokerage, as its adviser.

Both its car and motorcycle assets will be floated, most likely on one of the mainland's bourses, Yin said.

But the Lifan executives said on Monday that there was still no timetable for the firm's share sale.

Several much larger IPOs have been approved by the securities regulator over the past six weeks but have been unable to proceed because of weakness in the stock market.

Last week, China's securities regulator rejected an application by Great Wall Motor Co, China's largest sport utility vehicle maker, to issue up to 121.7 million new A shares in Shanghai.

Lifan began sales of its first self-developed cars in January 2007 in China and overseas.

It is investing 2.4 billion yuan in phases to increase its annual car capacity, which stood at 150,000 units late last year.

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