(Yicai Global) Sept. 1 -- Sun Hongbin, chair of real estate developer Sunac China Holdings Ltd. [HKG:1918], has vowed to make troubled Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp. Beijing [SHE:300104], better known as LeTV under the LeEco brand, into a great company, he said at press briefing for the release of the company's interim financial results.
Sunac China closed a deal in January to take over founder Jia Yueting's 8.61 percent stake in Leshi Internet for about USD915 million (CNY6.041 billion) and acquire 15-percent and 33.5-percent stakes, respectively, in LeVision Pictures Beijing Co. and Leshi Zhixin Electronic Technology Tianjin Co. for CNY1.05 billion and CNY7.95 billion.
Jia Yueting previously resigned as chairman and from all the positions held at Leshi Internet following a cash crunch in Leshi Holding Beijing Co., LeEco's holding company, and Sun succeeded him as chairman at the firm's listed arm.
Sun was close to tears as he acknowledged that while his predecessor was an honest man, he had failed in his handling of the company.
Sunac China reported CNY13.33 billion in revenue for the first six months of the year, up 25.9 percent annually, while total profit after-tax soared 1,469.7 percent to reach CNY1.614 billion, despite spending CNY1.5 billion on its Leshi acquisition.
Sun decided to divest all Leshi businesses apart from Leshi Internet, Leshi Zhixin, Le Vision Pictures and Leshi Cloud Computing.
Jia had a good start but ended up selling the company because he was not strong enough on some matters, Sun added. He should have sold some businesses and formed partnerships more decisively.
LeTV was doing well in terms of transitioning to a new business model, he said. Jia had laid the foundation for a booming business and LeTV will focus on internet television sets, rather than its video platform, as the former is a more lucrative business.