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Chinese tech founders to join US$1.2b Fosun sale

[HONG KONG] Founders of China's two biggest Internet companies are taking part in Fosun International Ltd's US$1.2 billion share sale, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Funds backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd founder Jack Ma and Tencent Holdings Ltd chairman Ma Huateng are buying shares in the private placement, the people said on Tuesday, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Fosun's parent is selling 465 million shares at HK$20 each, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Fosun, backed by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang, is selling stock to take advantage of a rally that has driven Hong Kong's benchmark index to a seven-year high. The two tech tycoons took part in China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co's $US1.7 billion private share sale last week, making the Fosun investment the second such deal this month.

Shares of Fosun International closed 2.4 per cent lower at HK$20.45 in Hong Kong after paring losses of as much as 4.5 per cent.

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Fosun Group has been on an acquisition spree ranging from Australian energy companies to New York city office buildings. Fosun International said last week it is planning a US$1.84 billion merger with Bermuda-based insurer Ironshore Inc after buying the shares it doesn't already own.