China Overseas Land & Investment's plans to take control of unlisted developer China Everbright Real Estate Development have taken a big step forward with the purchase of about 24 per cent of Shell Electric Mfg (Holdings). Shell Electric, a fan and electric appliance maker, owns 70 per cent of China Everbright Real Estate, whose key assets extend from Guangzhou to Inner Mongolia. China Overseas Land, together with parent company China State Construction Engineering Corp, both controlled by the Ministry of Construction, acquired a 30 per cent stake based on the existing issued share capital in Shell Electric on September 9, according to a statement on the stock exchange's website. The 157 million Shell Electric shares were bought for HK$2.90 each, the exchange said. However, a source close to the deal said the 157 million shares were new shares. The deal brought China Overseas about 24 per cent of the enlarged issued share capital. This is one of many steps the mainland developer will use to take over the company. China Overseas will make a general offer to Shell's minority shareholders when it buys more shares, the source said. Shell Electric, about 60 per cent owned by chairman Billy Yung Kwok-yee and his family trust, was unavailable for comment yesterday. Shell Electric acquired a 70 per cent stake in China Everbright Real Estate in 2005, after the developer was forced to sell its property assets as the central government had ordered banking and finance corporations to concentrate on their core businesses and move away from property investment. The remaining 30 per cent is owned by Assure Win Investments, which is believed to be the management of China Everbright Real Estate. Last month, Assure Win filed a writ trying to restrain Shell Electric from selling any stake, claiming it had the pre-emption right to buy the 70 per cent stake from Shell Electric. China Everbright Real Estate's property portfolio includes Ever Bright Garden in Guangzhou and Ever Bright World Centre in Beijing. It also has property investment in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, with a development plot of 60 hectares of land. Other properties include a residential project in Beijing covering a total gross floor area of 196,000 square metres and projects in Guilin.