Kaisa’s debt restructuring passes critical stage

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 May, 2016, 6:22pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 May, 2016, 6:50pm

Kaisa Group, the Shenzhen-based property developer which defaulted on its US dollar-denominated bonds, has reached a milestone in its yearlong debt restructuring negotiations after a plan was formally approved by bondholders.

In a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Sunday, the company said its offshore debt restructuring plan was “duly passed with the approval of the requisite majority of the Scheme Creditors,” at scheme meetings held by courts in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands on May 20.

The developer completed a 33 billion yuan (HK$39.14 billion) domestic debt restructuring in January.

Tam Lai Ling, a senior adviser and former vice chairman of Kaisa, said the creditor meetings approval “marks the completion of business negotiation” of the restructuring of nearly 17 billion yuan in offshore debts.

Under the Hong Kong and Cayman Islands law, approval is required from 75 per cent of shareholders by value when casting votes to implement a restructuring. According to Tam, 96 per cent of shareholders by value attended the meeting with more than 99 per cent voting to back the plan.

There remains a final legal process to obtain the US court’s recognition of Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands court sanctions, as the company is using US law to deal with offshore creditors, he said.

“We expect the [offshore] restructuring to be completed by the end of June.”

Shenzhen officials imposed a sales ban on some of Kaisa’s projects in late 2014 owing to potential business irregularities.

Chairman Kwok Ying-shing resigned on December 31, 2014 amid suspected links to Jiang Zunyu, a high ranking official in Shenzhen who has been under investigated by the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection since October 2014.

Officials unable to explain assets worth ‘hundreds of millions of yuan’

Kwok has been back on duty as chairman since April 2015.

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In the latest development, the court session of Jiang’s case began in Guangzhou earlier in May. Neither Kwok nor Kaisa have been mentioned in the indictment, according to reports.

Kaisa was on the verge of bankruptcy last year due to liquidity crunch, but the situation improved after the Shenzhen government partially lifted the sales ban on its developments.

More than 1,000 apartment units owned by the company in Shenzhen remain seized. Some seizures were imposed by local courts upon the application of creditors, while municipal authorities have also seized some properties to protect the interest of the buyers, who entered into provisional sale and purchase agreements with the company.

Kaisa’s shares in Hong Kong have been suspended since March 2015.