Shares of Gay Giano International Group rose 15 per cent yesterday after the Hong Kong apparel retailer revealed plans to buy four highways on the mainland for 460 million yuan (HK$514 million). The proposed acquisition would be the firm's second bid to diversify into other sectors after chairman Louis Wong Pak-lam bought out founder Subraina Cheung Yin-sheung in July last year to become its the largest shareholder. Last month, the firm scrapped a plan to buy three metal mines on the mainland after signing an initial accord in November last year. Gay Giano, which will change its name to Tai Yi Holdings, said it had signed a framework accord to buy highway projects in Jiangxi and Hunan in cash and convertible bonds. Projects to be bought include the 27.8km Ganyi Highway linking Liren to Nanhang in Jiangxi's Longnan county, and the 28.1km Ganrun Highway from the end of Ganyi Highway to Zhongcunao on the Jiangxi-Guangdong border. The two highways opened in 2004 and the operation rights are valid for another 21 years. Gay Giano would also buy the 34.4km still unfinished Pinghong Highway linking Pingxian city to Hongkoujie on the border of Hunan. Another project is the 31km Airui Highway that will link Ailing city to Ruijin city in Jiangxi. These two highways have 28-year operation rights. Gay Giano will settle the deal by 25 million yuan in cash and 435 million yuan in convertible bonds. The three-year bonds have an initial conversion price of HK$1.27305 or a 23 per cent discount to the company's last traded price of HK$1.66 on April 25 before the stock was suspended from trading. Chief executive Terence Wong Kwong-lung said financial details of the proposed deal would be available as soon as the formal agreement was sealed in the next two weeks. Mr Wong also said the core business would be infrastructure. It would seek investment opportunities in ports, sewage treatment plants, water plants and other projects. He said the company was in talks with mainland wholesalers and retailers on possible co-operation to bring its Gay Giano, Cour Carre and Due G brands of apparel and fashion accessories to the mainland market. The stock closed at HK$1.91 yesterday after it resumed trading.