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Tsinghua Unigroup says working with seven strategic investors in restructuring

10/18/2021 | 07:00pm EST
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Tsinghua Unigroup is seen in its office in Beijing

(Fixes story in last paragraph)

By Josh Horwitz

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Chinese chip conglomerate Tsinghua Unigroup is working with seven strategic investors as it continues its restructuring, the company wrote on its official WeChat account on Monday.

The announcement comes as the company, which is 51% owned by China's Tsinghua University, seeks a safety net following a string of bond defaults.

Unigroup did not identify the investors that were participating in its restructuring, but said that due diligence was under way. A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.

The company added in its WeChat post that its operations are stable and improving.

Under the leadership of former real estate mogul Zhao Weiguo, Unigroup made a string of acquisitions over the past decade with the aim of becoming a leading player in China's semiconductor sector.

Few of those purchases turned into successful businesses, however. In a June 2020 filing the company said it had amassed $31 billion in debt, and by the end of 2020 it had defaulted or cross-defaulted on onshore and offshore bonds worth about $3.6 billion.

In July, the company received a notice from a Beijing court stating that its creditors had called for a restructuring.

The same month, Reuters reported that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and several state-backed companies were weighing bids for a stake in Unisplendour Corp, a cloud computing infrastructure firm owned by Unigroup. The companies did not respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Kim Coghill)

ę Reuters 2021
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