China's Fosun Sells Last of Its Stake in Zhongshan Public Utilities to Pare Debt
Liao Shumin
DATE:  Dec 02 2022
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
China's Fosun Sells Last of Its Stake in Zhongshan Public Utilities to Pare Debt China's Fosun Sells Last of Its Stake in Zhongshan Public Utilities to Pare Debt

(Yicai Global) Dec. 2 -- Fosun has sold all of the remaining equity held by one of its units in wastewater treatment solutions provider Zhongshan Public Utilities Group as the debt-laden Chinese health-to-smart manufacturing conglomerate continues to shed assets in order to pay its liabilities.

Fosun High Technology Group has sold an 8 percent stake in Zhongshan Public Utilities to China Huarong Asset Management, one of the country’s four bad debt managers, for CNY767 million (USD108.7 million) due to strategic focus needs, the subsidiary, which provides environmental protection services, said yesterday.

Some 119 million shares were sold at a price of CNY6.46 (USD0.91) on Nov. 30, Fosun High Tech said. This is a 10 percent discount on Zhongshan Public Utilities’ closing price of CNY7.17 that day. Today the stock [SHE:000685] closed flat at CNY7.18.

Fosun used to be the second-largest stakeholder in Zhongshan Public Utilities after Zhongshan Investment Holdings which holds 47.9 percent equity. But the company has been paring its stake since July, in five separate transactions including this week’s. On July 7 and Aug. 15 it sold 14.7 million shares at around CNY7.41 (USD1.05) apiece. And on July 28 and Sept. 27, it offloaded 19.3 million shares at an average price of CNY6.51 each.

Fosun and its units, including Yuyuan Tourist Mart Group and Fosun Pharmaceutical Group, had about CNY260 billion (USD37 billion) in interest-bearing loans as of the end of June, according to the Shanghai-based firm’s first-half financial results. But the subsidiaries are responsible for paying off their own debts, leaving Fosun only liable for around CNY100 billion worth, it said.

The conglomerate has been actively raising money through the sale of assets to clear its debts. Since the beginning of the year it has sold stakes in Nanjing Iron & Steel, Tsingtao Brewery, Fosun Pharma, New China Life Insurance and Yuyuan Tourist. In October it sold all its equity in Nanjing Iron & Steel United, the country’s biggest private steel maker, for CNY16 billion (USD2.3 billion).

Profit at Zhongshan Public Utilities, which also provides solid waste treatment and new energy services, tumbled 42 percent in the first three quarters from the same time last year. In previous years it was highly profitable, raking in CNY1.4 billion last year and CNY1.3 billion in 2020.

Editor: Kim Taylor

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Keywords:   Shanghai Fosun High Technology Group,Zhongshan Public Utilities Group,China Huarong Asset Management Co.