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THE BLACKSTONE GROUP INC.

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Blackstone to buy out office developer SOHO China in $3 billion deal

06/17/2021 | 12:19am EDT
A member of security personnel wearing a face mask stands guard as the Galaxy SOHO office and commercial buildings are reflected in the water in Beijing

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Blackstone Group Inc will take control of SOHO China Ltd in a HK$23.7 billion ($3.05 billion) deal and maintain its stock market listing, the Chinese office developer said in a filing on Wednesday, while the founders will retain a 9% stake.

The U.S. private equity firm will offer HK$5 per share, 31.6% higher than the last closing price of HK$3.8 on Friday, in what would be its largest real estate deal in China.

SOHO China's shares jumped as much as 25.8% to HK$4.78 early on Thursday, as they resumed trading after being suspended since Tuesday.

Blackstone, which currently owns around 6 million square metres (65 million square feet) of properties in China, is seeking to expand there as it is confident about the country's long-term economic prospects and the Beijing and Shanghai office market, the filing said.

SOHO China, a major developer well known for its futuristic office buildings on the mainland, has 1.3 million square meters of commercial properties in the country.

The company is 64% owned by the husband-and-wife founding team of Chairman Pan Shiyi and Chief Executive Zhang Xin. After the deal, they will become its second-largest shareholder with a 9% interest.

The offer is conditional on Chinese competition authorities granting clearance, the filing added.

Founded in 1995, SOHO China went public in Hong Kong in 2007. Its shares have gained 62% in the past month and it had a market value of $2.55 billion at the stock's last close, according to Refinitiv data.

The company has been scouting for buyers for its prime commercial property assets as the founders looked to shift their focus to overseas markets. Reuters reported last year Blackstone was in exclusive talks to take SOHO China private in a $4 billion deal, but later halted the talks.

($1 = 7.7620 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru and Clare Jim in Hong Kong; Editing by Pravin Char and Christopher Cushing)

By Clare Jim


© Reuters 2021
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 8 827 M - -
Net income 2021 4 643 M - -
Net Debt 2021 3 917 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 30,9x
Yield 2021 2,81%
Capitalization 83 049 M 83 049 M -
EV / Sales 2021 9,85x
EV / Sales 2022 8,76x
Nbr of Employees 3 165
Free-Float 99,1%
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Last Close Price 115,27 $
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Stephen Allen Schwarzman Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Jonathan D. Gray President, Chief Operating Officer & Director
Michael S. Chae Chief Financial Officer
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