Road King Infrastructure, a mainland toll-road investor, plans to pay up to 1.28 billion yuan for a controlling stake in a major China developer to beef up its property business. Hong-Kong-listed Road King, which derived 80 per cent of sales from infrastructure and 20 per cent from property last year, was granted options to take a 55 per cent stake in Sunco China Holdings for 900 million yuan from the Tianjin developer's owner Sun Hongbin. Sunco, which has 1.9 billion in bank borrowings and 1.9 billion unpaid land premiums, recorded a loss of about 500 million yuan last year on turnover of five billion yuan, according to Road King. Road King chairman William Zen, who would become Sunco China's chairman after the stake purchase, said the loss stemmed from Sunco acquiring land at high prices in 2004 and unsatisfactory sales in recent years after the central government introduced measures to cool the property market. Sunco's assets would substantially strengthen Road King's property business, started in 2003. Road King now has three projects in Guangzhou and Jiangsu amounting to 1.6 million square metres. Mr Zen said Road King aimed to inject its property projects into Sunco and seek a listing outside China in as early as three years away. The first option involves a 500 million yuan purchase of a 55 per cent stake in Sunco's 2.1 million square metres of property projects in more than a dozen cities such as Beijing and Qingdao. The projects carry 700 million yuan in bank borrowings and 700 million yuan in unpaid land premiums. The second option involves buying a 55 per cent stake in Sunco's 2.5 million square metres of property projects and a 2.8 million square metre project developed by Sunco's joint ventures in Shanghai, Tianjin and other cities, all for 400 million yuan. Those projects carry a 1.2 billion yuan bank debt and 1.2 billion yuan unpaid land premiums. Road King was also given an option to buy the entire property projects in Suzhou totalling 1.3 million square metres for 380 million yuan.