China’s antitrust regulator has started its review of a general offer by US private-equity firm Blackstone Group to take control of property developer Soho China, a necessary step needed for the US$3.05 billion deal to be concluded.
The acquirer was notified on August 3 that the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) had accepted its application for the takeover, Soho China said in an exchange statement late on Friday. More information or materials may have to be submitted to SAMR for vetting under China’s anti-monopoly law, the statement said, without stating how long the review would take.
Blackstone’s offer to buy Soho China at HK$5 represents an about 40 per cent discount on the developer’s audited book value as of the end of 2020, according to the proposal. On the conclusion of the deal, the US private-equity firm will control the company, while the stake held by Pan and Zhang will be reduced to 9 per cent. The couple will sell 2.86 billion shares, or a 55 per cent stake, for HK$14.3 billion.
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