China Vanke to make it onto the list of the world’s 500 biggest companies, says CEO
China Vanke founder Wang Shi said Thursday his company would join the ranks of the world’s largest 500 this year, becoming the world’s only pure property company to do so.
Wang, speaking at a Shenzhen conference, highlighted the achievements of the company under his management, amid an ongoing tussle between top management and the company’s second-largest shareholder China Resources, as it battles a hostile takeover by Baoneng Group.
“The real estate industry is special. Companies in the industry are locally oriented. There were about three such companies in the top 500 but after the 2008 financial crisis, all were kicked out,” Wang said.
Vanke is not among those making up the 2015 Fortune 500 companies list, which was compiled on the basis of company earnings for 2014. Vanke’s 2015 annual report, released in March, showed the company’s operating revenue grew 33.6 per cent to 195.5 billion yuan (HK$230 billion).
That is well above US$23.7 billion minimum threshold for Fortune 500 companies 2015, making its inclusion in the elite club in the upcoming ranking almost a sure thing.
Wang’s comment came as the battle for control of Vanke with its second-largest shareholder China Resources Holdings intensified.
In the latest twist, China Resources on Thursday said it had filed complaints to respective securities regulators in the mainland and Hong Kong.
To avoid a possible takeover by Baoneng Group, Wang and his top management have been pushing a restructuring involving Shenzhen Metro.
Vanke proposed a 45.6 billion yuan acquisition of a unit of Shenzhen Metro Group in a deal settled through the sale of Vanke shares to Shenzhen Metro.
However the proposal has sparked objections from China Resources, its second-largest shareholder. China Resources last weekend disputed Vanke’s claim that the restructuring proposal has been passed in a 10-to-3 vote, saying it needed the approval from two-thirds, or eight, of its 11 members. Independent director Zhang Liping abstained from the vote.
The Shenzhen Stock Exchange said on Wednesday that it was seeking clarification from Vanke on the proposal.
Critics said Wang had chosen to forgo most of his stake in Vanke 28 years ago, which left a highly dispersed ownership structure that is vulnerable to hostile takeover.
At Thursday’s speech, Wang also highlighted his aim to learn from international peers, transforming the company into a global company that provides its customers worldwide service.
Besides Hong Kong and Singapore, he said the company plans to prioritise investment in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and London. He added that additional investments were also planned for Paris and Berlin.
“After buying Vanke’s homes in China, customers could continue to consult with us on overseas properties when they have kids studying abroad, or relatives planning to purchases overseas,” Wang said.