EVERGO International Holdings, flagship of the Lau brothers' business empire, has paid $558.67 million to secure an additional 9.35 per cent slice of Chinese Estates Holdings, bringing its total holding to 65.14 per cent. It has also bought up 118.45 million outstanding 1993 warrants for $65.14 million from Cheung Kong (Holdings) and HutchVision. The group snapped up 150.99 million shares in Chinese Estates at $3.70 a share, representing a discount of 11.38 per cent to yesterday's close. The stock, which was the second most heavily traded counter on the market yesterday, soaking up 9.47 per cent of total turnover at $606.65 million, has climbed 15.5 per cent to $4.275 in the past two weeks. Speculation has been mounting in the market that the Lau brothers are once again planning a privatisation bid on Chinese Estates. Evergo secretary Dominic Hung Hin-cheung said yesterday: ''The acquisition of additional Chinese Estates shares and Chinese Estates warrants gives the company an opportunity to consolidate further its interest in Chinese Estates. ''The company intends to retain the sale shares as a long-term investment.'' Evergo funded yesterday's acquisitions through a mix of internal resources and borrowing. The net profit realised on the sale of the shares was around $55.86 million, based on the latest audited accounts of Chinese Estates, or some 19.98 per cent of profits attributable to Evergo shareholders. Cheung Kong (Holdings) and HutchVision sold their warrants at 55 cents, a discount of 3.51 per cent to yesterday's close. The property giant's $457 million convertible note on Evergo comes up for re-payment at the end of next month, following a six-month extension.