Tsinghua Unigroup said on Wednesday that most of its creditors and shareholders have approved its debt restructuring plan, as the once high-flying semiconductor conglomerate associated with China’s top university moved closer to ending a months-long renegotiation of its outstanding liabilities. A successful vote in favour of that plan was reached on Wednesday during a second creditors’ meeting presided by Unigroup’s government-appointed custodian team, who briefed representatives of the company’s 1,075 creditors on the debt restructuring process, according to the Beijing-based firm’s statement published on its official WeChat account later the same day. Among those who agreed to Unigroup’s debt restructuring plan, 1,069 creditors have ordinary or unsecured claims totalling 124.09 billion yuan (US$19.47 billion), while six have secured claims against what the firm owes them. Although 12 creditors with unsecured claims totalling 13.6 billion yuan were absent from the meeting, their non-attendance did not alter the outcome of the vote, according to Unigroup. Unigroup, known for its unsuccessful US$23 billion bid for US chip maker Micron Technology in 2015, has been saddled with more than 200 billion yuan in total liabilities after years of aggressive expansion into areas beyond chips, including finance, energy and education. The firm started looking for deep-pocketed investors to continue its semiconductor and cloud computing operations after a court-ordered restructuring process formally began in July this year. Two major Unigroup shareholders, Tsinghua Holdings Corp and Beijing Jiankun Investment Group Co, also approved the restructuring plan, which will be submitted for court approval. Unigroup’s debt restructuring plan will allow each creditor with a secured claim worth less than 1.2 million yuan to be fully repaid in cash, while each creditor with an unsecured claim of more than 1.2 million yuan will be able to redeem at least 95 per cent of the amount owed, according to the custodian team’s statement published on December 16. The backing obtained by Unigroup for its debt restructuring plan has come about two weeks after company chairman and chief executive Zhao Weiguo opposed a 60-billion-yuan corporate takeover proposed by a Chinese consortium, which is supported by secretive private equity fund Wise Road Capital and its sister fund Jac Capital. Zhao, who has a 34.3 per cent stake in Unigroup via Beijing Jiankun Investment, said that proposed takeover could result in a loss of 73.4 billion yuan in state assets. Unigroup declined further comment on its debt restructuring plan. Zhao was not immediately available for comment. Unisoc CEO expresses relief firm has survived parent group’s debt crisis Unigroup’s custodian team issued a statement on December 16 that slammed Zhao for destroying shareholder value from years of mismanagement, which drove the company into bankruptcy. Unigroup’s total assets were valued at 121.4 billion yuan as of June 30 this year, while its liabilities totalled 137.6 billion yuan. The firm’s debt crisis exploded in 2020, when it was plagued by diminishing cash flows and faced pressure to pay off maturing debts in both onshore and offshore markets, the custodian team said. Its massive debt and subsequent restructuring efforts represent a big fall for Unigroup, which was once seen as a major player in Beijing’s push for semiconductor self-reliance amid the escalating US-China tech war . The stakes are high for Unigroup to stay afloat and build up its considerable semiconductor operations. Its attractive portfolio of assets includes shareholdings in semiconductor design firm Unisoc, China’s fifth-largest smartphone chip provider , and Yangtze Memory Technology Co , the country’s top memory chip maker. Chinese chip maker Tsinghua Unigroup bedevilled by debt and bad bets Analysts said those two companies are viable gateways for investors to become involved in China’s development of a world-class semiconductor supply chain. 5G chip designer Unisoc, for example, is one of the three major semiconductor enterprises based in Shanghai, according to Gu Wenjun, chief analyst at tech market research firm ICwise. The others are chip foundries Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp and Hua Hong Semiconductor .