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Hong Kong's New World Development makes second attempt to take China unit private

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong-based real estate developer New World Development Co Ltd said on Wednesday it will offer to take its 69 per cent-owned China property unit private in a deal that could be worth as much as HK$21.45 billion (S$3.95 billion).

In a filing to the Hong Kong bourse, New World Development said it planned to offer HK$7.80 apiece for all outstanding shares it did not already own in New World China Land. The price represents a 25.6 per cent premium over New World China Land's previous closing level.

Trading in both companies' shares, which was suspended on Monday, will resume on Wednesday.

The move is the second attempt by New World Development in less than two years to take New World China Land private. In 2014, independent shareholders rejected a US$2.4 billion offer - HK$6.80 per share - as the controlling shareholder sought more flexibility in managing the property business.

Shares of New World China Land surged 35 per cent in 2015 to end the year at HK$6.21 apiece, outpacing a 7.2 per cent fall in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

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New World Development said it would finance the deal, which is subjected to its shareholders' approval, with its own cash reserve and a credit facility from HSBC.


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