A US private equity firm has scrapped a planned $3 billion purchase of Chinese property developer Soho China, over fears antitrust authorities would refuse to rubber-stamp the deal.
But its offer had been conditional upon clearance from China’s competition authorities, and the parties concluded that the pre-conditions would not be satisfied within a designated time frame, according to a filing to the Hong Kong exchange dated Friday.
Both sides have now “agreed that the offer should not be made,” the filing added.
Blackstone’s offer in June, at HK$5 per share, was over 30% above Soho China’s closing price at the time – and valued the property group at HK$26 billion ($3.3 billion).
A June filing said Blackstone owned “approximately 6 million square meters of properties in China”.
The move comes as Beijing steps up its broad crackdown on monopolistic behaviour and deals that has spooked China’s once unassailable tech giants, with regulators taking aim at industries from e-commerce to education.
The real estate sector has also been hit in recent weeks, with a crackdown making it harder to raise cash and embattled firms like real estate giant Evergrande struggling to service debts.
- AFP and Sean O’Meara