Evergrande eyes $613m SAR share sale

Updated: 2015-05-29 07:37

By Bloomberg(HK Edition)

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Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd - the Chinese mainland's third-biggest developer by assets - is seeking up to $613 million selling shares to refinance debt and replenish working capital.

The Guangzhou-based builder is offering 747.6 million shares at HK$6.22 to HK$6.36 apiece, according to the terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg.

CITIC CLSA Securities Ltd, Credit Suisse Group AG and Haitong Securities Co Ltd are working on the sale, people with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

The share sale comes as the mainland's property market starts to recover and the stock market surged to a seven-year high. Developers on the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have announced $20 billion of share sales since January this year - more than the amount of offerings completed in any previous year - according to Bloomberg data.

The share price range represents an 8-10 percent discount to Evergrande's last closing price after the stock more than doubled this year. Evergrande has agreed not to sell any more shares for 90 days, except for a possible sale of a maximum 10-percent stake to a financial institution that will be required to keep the shares for a year.

Other major mainland developers, including Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd and Yuzhou Properties Co Ltd, have sold shares this year to major equity investors. Foshan-based Country Garden sold a 9.9-percent stake to Ping An Insurance Group Co Ltd last month.

Evergrande signed a cooperation agreement with People's Insurance Co (Group) of China Ltd in April, which will cover areas like commercial insurance, pensions and health management.

Any equity sale could help Evergrande, controlled by Chairman Hui Ka-yan, improve its indebtedness. The firm's net debt is almost triple its common equity if its perpetual equity instruments are treated as debt.

The company has one of the lowest analyst rankings among Hong Kong-traded developers worth at least $5 billion. At least three brokerages, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc and China International Capital Corp, have cut their recommendations for Evergrande this month, pointing to its high-debt obligations.

Evergrande has the most perpetual securities among rated developers with 52.85 billion yuan ($8.5 billion) at the end of last year, according to Moody's Investors Service. Issuing perpetuals can help companies cut debt ratios as international standards allow the proceeds to be counted equity. However, they are often treated as debt by analysts.

Evergrande suspended trading in Hong Kong on Thursday morning.

 Evergrande eyes $613m SAR share sale

Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd has received the lowest analyst rankings among Hong Kong-traded developers due to its high-debt obligations. Any equity sale could help Evergrande improve its indebtedness. Photo / IC

(HK Edition 05/29/2015 page8)