AFTER months of negotiations, a $1 billion back-to-back deal to sell control of Emperor (China Concept) Investments to a mainland-controlled consortium, which includes tycoon Li Ka-shing, has been finalised by Emperor International Holdings. Last night Emperor International announced it would sell its 70.9 per cent stake in Emperor China for $987.6 million to the consortium. But the deal will leave Emperor International, the highly energetic vehicle driven by the ambitious Alfred Yeung Sau-shing, firmly in control of its major assets. For, in a transaction worth $1.05 billion, Emperor China will sell back to Emperor International its 33.89 per cent holding in Hong Kong Daily News, the Emperor Group Centre in Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, and all its interests in China. It is also buying from the consortium three leases in the mainland and the Chinese Bank Building, located on Des Voeux Road in Central. The deal will leave Emperor China as a listed company, and the consortium intends to carry on with its business of property investment in Hong Kong and China. Named as members of the buying group are Centre Regent Investments, which will be taking up 55.5 per cent of the shares being sold, Mr Li's Cheung Kong (Holdings), which will take 31.3 per cent, CEF Holdings, with 3.3 per cent, CEFNA Greater China Investments Co, with 2.2 per cent and Chung Fuk-wai, the deputy general manager of Centre Regent, will take 7.7 per cent. Centre Regent is wholly owned by mainland-owned China National Real Estate Development Group (CRED), which is 60 per cent-owned by the Ministry of Construction and 40 per cent by the People's Construction Bank of China. The deal values each Emperor China share at $4.52, and a general offer will be made to minority shareholders through CEF Capital. The consortium intends to keep Emperor China listed on the stock market but the exchange has indicated that upon completion of the deal, the company will be treated as a new applicant for listing. As a result, a listing document will be prepared and approved by the stock exchange. Shares in Emperor China were suspended on December 29, at $5.35 a share, and at one time last year the stock had been as high as $7. Trading is expected to resume today. The terms of the deal require Emperor International to pay the consortium $297 million for the three mainland properties, which are commercial blocks in the Haidain district of Beijing. The seller is CRED, and the leases have 30 years to run. A deal over Emperor International's controlling stake in Emperor China has been brewing since August last year, when Guangdong International Trust and Investment Corp (GITIC) announced it was interested in acquiring the holding. GITIC pulled out in September, but in mid-October the companies announced that the shares were being suspended following an approach from a China enterprise. Shortly after, it was revealed that the talks were with the present consortium, and that a price of between $4 and $4.60 was being discussed. Trading in the shares resumed on October 25, with the stock closing at $6.55. At the time of the announcement of the members of the consortium it was intended that CRED would be injecting mainland assets into Emperor China. Emperor International managing director Vanessa Fan Man-seung said last night the disposal of Emperor China shares had generated a substantial profit for the group. In November, Ms Fan said in an interview the sale of Emperor China would be the last reconstruction of the group, which has built up a reputation for active dealing.