Evergrande shares slip after deal to raise $273 million in a business sale

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An exterior view of China Evergrande Centre in Hong Kong, China March 26, 2018.
Bobby Yip | Reuters

BEIJING — Indebted property developer China Evergrande is set to raise about $273 million by selling its remaining shares in film production and streaming company HengTen Networks, according to a filing released ahead of the market open Thursday.

Shares of Evergrande fell more than 1% in morning trade Thursday. HengTen shares jumped 23%.

Evergrande, the largest issuer of U.S. dollar-denominated debt among Chinese real estate developers, has teetered on the edge of official default this year. The company has made 11th hour payments and resumed construction on apartments owed to buyers. But that’s only a fraction of what the developer owes.

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The sale of HengTen is Evergrande’s latest effort to raise capital. The deal is worth 2.13 billion Hong Kong dollars ($273.2 million), with 20% — or $54.6 million — due within five business days, and the rest in two months, the filing said.

The developer said it reached an agreement Wednesday to sell about 1.66 billion HengTen shares to Allied Resources Investment Holdings for 1.28 Hong Kong dollars each, according to a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange.

That’s about 24% below HengTen’s closing price Wednesday of 1.69 Hong Kong dollars a share.

The transaction represents about 18% of HengTen’s issued shares. An Aug. 1 filing showed a Tencent subsidiary agreed to buy 7% of the company from an Evergrande subsidiary in a deal worth 2.07 billion Hong Kong dollars.

HengTen’s subsidiary Ruyi Films was one of the producers of “Hi, Mom,‘’ a hit move in China earlier this year. It grossed 5.41 billion yuan, or about $838 million at the time, making it the top-grossing movie by a female director, according to Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan.

Evergrande was founded in the late 1990s as a real estate developer, before expanding into industries such as new energy vehicles, life insurance and spring water.

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