The property company hopes to resolve $8 billion in loans and avert liquidation Struggling property company Lai Sun Development will present an informal debt-restructuring proposal to creditors this week in a bid to stay afloat. Creditors including banks, bondholders and Lai Sun's media and satellite-television associate eSun Holdings could possibly be asked to take a haircut to help resolve Lai Sun's $8 billion debt. Mark Lee Po-on, eSun chief executive, yesterday said he expected the proposal to include a mix of cash repayment, property assets and a debt-for-equity swap. However, Mr Lee said he was not too optimistic that eSun could recover in full a $1.5 billion loan made to Lai Sun, especially in the present tough economic environment. He said eSun might consider taking a haircut if it was raised in the debt-restructuring proposal. Mr Lee said eSun would look at the feasibility of the proposal and obtain financial advice before seeking shareholder approval. 'The biggest limiting factor for Lai Sun is that it does not have enough resources,' he said, adding that the debt restructuring proposal was aimed at taking into account the interests of all parties involved. Lai Sun defaulted on $2.3 billion of convertible and exchangeable bonds at the end of March, raising concerns about a possible liquidation. Lai Sun also has about $4.5 billion in bank and other borrowings. Commenting on Lai Sun's recent cut-price sale of a stake in Asia Television (ATV), Mr Lee said it was a compromise made in the interests of both buyer and seller. ATV chief executive Chan Wing-kee paid Lai Sun $230 million for 32.75 per cent of ATV and 50 per cent of HKATV.com - down from $360 million agreed last November. Mr Lee estimated ATV's advertising revenue had fallen 30 per cent or more after the Sars outbreak and thus a price cut was warranted. The deal, to be completed by July 31, requires investor approval. Meanwhile, Mr Lee said eSun recently spent $50 million to raise its stake in film-maker Media Asia Holdings from 35.13 to 49.77 per cent because of its positive business prospects. The acquisition was satisfied by the issue of 100 million new eSun shares at 50 cents. Mr Lee said Media Asia intended to invest about $100 million this year to produce two sequels to the successful film Infernal Affairs. The question of a listing for Media Asia would be reviewed at the end of the year.