Chinese firm pulls out of record HK office deal


HONG KONG • A state-owned Chinese energy company has pulled out of a record US$5.2 billion (RM20.39 billion) deal to buy most of a Hong Kong skyscraper from billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s company, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hui Wing Mau, chairman of developer Shimao Property Holdings Ltd, and Pollyanna Chu Yuet Wah, the billionaire co-founder of Kingston Financial Group Ltd, will join the consortium as new investors after China Energy Reserve & Chemicals Group backed out, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information hasn’t been publicly disclosed. Hui plans to take a 20% stake in the deal, while Chu will take a 17% stake, they said.

Shimao’s investor relations senior manager Eva Lau said the company has no comment on the chairman’s personal investment. Kingston’s Chu, China Energy and CK Asset Holdings didn’t respond to requests seeking comment on the matter, which was reported earlier by Reuters.

China Energy was unknown in property circles when it emerged in November as the surprise leader of a consortium to acquire a stake in the 73-storey tower — The Center — from CK Asset Holdings Ltd, in a record-breaking deal for commercial building.

It’s unclear why China Energy backed out of the deal. China Energy was to have taken a 55% stake in the purchaser, CHMT Peaceful Development Asia Property Ltd. — Bloomberg