Founded in 1995, SOHO China is China’s largest prime office real-estate developer, focusing on the central business districts of Beijing and Shanghai. It was founded by Pan Shiyi, a former oil ministry employee, and his wife Zhang Xin, formerly of Goldman Sachs. It listed in Hong Kong in 2007 (Hong Kong stock code: 410).
Soho revives plan to list on market
Soho China, Beijing's most flamboyant property developer, has revived a plan to sell shares, possibly in Hong Kong and Shanghai, according to sources.
The company hoped to raise US$400 million before June and had hired Goldman Sachs and HSBC to arrange the sale, the sources said.
An initial public offering in Shanghai will allow Soho to tap the mainland's bull market, while selling shares in Hong Kong will give it the credibility conferred by an international listing.
Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, Soho's husband and wife owners, first considered a listing more than four years ago.
The plan was dropped because the market at that time could not give them the valuation they wanted and the company was cash-rich from its quick sales turnaround.
In 2004, Soho bought the land for its Chaowai Soho central business district development for 600 million yuan without any bank financing.
However, the company has recently acquired large tracts of land in the Sanlitun bar area and close to the landmark China Central Television complex now being built on Guanghua Road, according to sources.
'About a year ago, Soho changed its focus from residential property to commercial projects because they believe residential has become too political with all the government measures to rein in price rises,' Jones Lang LaSalle analyst Gou Shibin said.
Mr Pan and Ms Zhang could not be reached yesterday, while company official Wang Chunlei declined to comment.