China Evergrande Group is selling its entire stake in streaming services firm HengTen Network Group to raise HK$2.13 billion ($273.5 million) as the cash-strapped developer in a last-ditch attempt avoids a debilitating default on its debts.
Evergrande, the world's most indebted developer, said Thursday it would book a loss of $1.06 billion from selling the 18% stake in HengTen, in which Chinese gaming and social media giant Tencent Holdings has around 20% share.
The Shenzhen-based real estate company has been stumbling from deadline to deadline in recent weeks as it grapples with more than $300 billion in liabilities, $19 billion of which are international market bonds.
A wholly-owned unit of Evergrande had an agreement with Allied Resources Investment Holdings Ltd., owned by investor Li Shao Yu, to sell 1.66 billion HengTen shares at HK$1.28 per share, at a discount of 24% to its closing price on Wednesday.
The latest share disposal extends Evergrande's sell-down of its HengTen stake from 26.55% in the secondary market since early this month.
Shares of Evergrande dropped 2.5% in late morning trade, while HengTen, which streams and produces film and television programs and has been described as China's Netflix by Chinese media, jumped 22.5%.
Evergrande said that 20% of the deal consideration would be payable within five business days from the date of the agreement, while the remainder will be paid within two months, according to the Hong Kong stock exchange filing.
Investors are on tenterhooks as they wait to see if Evergrande, which failed to pay coupons totaling $82.5 million due on Nov. 6, can meet its obligations before the 30-day grace period expires on Dec. 6.
Other Chinese property developers are also stepping up financing efforts via share sales as liquidity in the offshore bond market dries up due to fears over any contagion from Evergrande's troubles.
According to a term sheet seen by Reuters on Thursday, Country Garden Services Holdings, the property services unit of developer Country Gardens, is selling 150 million new shares, representing 4.5% of the enlarged capital, to raise $1.03 billion.
The selling price is HK$53.35 ($6.85) each, a 9.5% discount to the last traded price of HK$58.95 on Wednesday. Country Garden Services said it would use the proceeds for future acquisition opportunities and new business development.
The company's shares were suspended from trading on Thursday, while parent Country Garden dropped 3.2%.
On Thursday, smaller rival Agile Group also said it sold convertible bonds worth HK$2.4 billion based on the initial exchange price of HK$27.48 per share of its property management unit A-Living Smart City Services.
When fully converted, the bonds will represent 6.2% of A-Living's issued share capital. Shares of A-Living tumbled 8.3% to HK$21 on Thursday.
Agile said the fundraising is beneficial to the company considering the current market conditions. In addition, the company said it had remitted funds to repay its $190 million senior notes due Thursday.
Early this week, Sunac China, among the top four developers in the country, said it raised a total of $949.70 million by issuing new shares and selling a stake in Sunac Services.
On top of the debt market pressures, Chinese property developers face stiff challenges from an array of unprecedented policy tightening steps by Beijing to curb speculative buying.
China Vanke told its staff Tuesday they need to raise their "crisis awareness" and cut unnecessary spending akin to being in "wartime," according to a person with direct knowledge.
Last week, Evergrande once again averted a destabilizing default with a last-minute bond payment, but the reprieve did little to alleviate strains in the country's wider property sector from a liquidity crunch.
Evergrande has new coupon payments totaling more than $255 million due on Dec. 28. In addition, it has come under pressure from its other creditors at home, and an oppressive funding squeeze has cast a shadow over hundreds of its residential projects.
Chinese authorities have urged Evergrande Chairperson Hui Ka Yan, 63, to use some of his personal wealth to help pay bondholders, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters last month.
According to filings and a person with knowledge of the matter, its founder is now freeing up funds from luxury assets, including art, calligraphy and three high-end homes.
Construction company Shanghai Trendzone Holdings said Wednesday it is suing Evergrande and its units for missing payments worth $38.3 million.
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