CERAMIC tiles group Companion Building Materials is planning to expand its production in China through joint ventures to be funded by a $99 million issue of new shares. The funding comes through a back-to-back placing and subscription by Kingstar Investments, the major shareholder in Companion. Kingstar has made a placing of 22.9 million existing shares in Companion at $2.18 per share both to Boman Assets, an offshoot of Shougang Concord, and to WP, a subsidiary of the New China Hong Kong banking and investment group. Kingstar has agreed to subscribe for the same amount of new shares in the company at the same price. Kingstar is 72 per cent owned by the Shui Family Trust, and 27.5 per cent by Lynch International. Following the subscription of new shares, Kingstar will hold 42.6 per cent of the enlarged capital of Companion compared to the 51 per cent it held before the deals.