Soho Chinai

Founded in 1995, SOHO China is China’s largest prime office real-estate developer, focusing on the central business districts of Beijing and Shanghai. It was founded by Pan Shiyi, a former oil ministry employee, and his wife Zhang Xin, formerly of Goldman Sachs. It listed in Hong Kong in 2007 (Hong Kong stock code: 410).

  • Pan Shiyi stepped down as chairman while his wife Zhang Xin gave up the CEO post to pursue arts and philanthropy. Both will remain as executive directors
  • The retreat follows a slump in China’s property market and controversy after the Blackstone Group walked away from a takeover offer last year

US private equity giant abandoned its US$3.05 billion offer, halting its plan to expand in the mainland Chinese market through one of its biggest real estate acquisitions in Asia.


China’s antitrust regulator has started its review of a general offer by US private-equity firm Blackstone Group to take control of property developer Soho China, a necessary step needed for the US$3.05 billion deal to be concluded.


While the offer at HK$5 per share is at a premium to market, Blackstone will be picking up Soho’s assets at about 40 per cent discount to net asset value of HK$8.37 per share at the end of 2020.

Beijing-based office developer Soho China, which was in talks with US private equity group Blackstone about a privatisation deal worth more than US$4 billion, said on Thursday that the deal was off.

The deal marks a formal exit from the equity market for Soho China’s Chairman Pan Shiyi and Chief Executive Officer Zhang Xin, who together built the company into one of the country’s major developers of mixed-used residential and commercial property.

The potential sales signal Soho China may be shifting away from the nation’s office market, which has been hit by declining rents and decade-high vacancy rates as economic growth slows.

Soho China's transition from developer to landlord is weighing on its earnings, with the company yesterday reporting a 60 per cent drop in core profit to 1.78 billion yuan (HK$2.24 billion) for last year.

Mainland commercial property developer Soho China has agreed to sell just under half of its uncompleted office-retail project in Shanghai to Ctrip Shanghai for HK$3.85 billion, nearly double what it paid for the project site in 2010.

Commercial property developers Soho China and Franshion Properties (China) posted robust half-year results yesterday, but their major office markets in Beijing and Shanghai are expected to soften as the mainland's economic growth slows further.

The deal makes the two million square-foot building – a 50-story tower overlooking New York’s Central Park and featuring Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue store – the most expensive US office building.

Soho China won a commercial site in Shanghai for 3.19 billion yuan (HK$4.01 billion) yesterday. The deal puts the accommodation value of the site, in the Gubei area of Hongqiao district, at 31,000 yuan per square metre, more than double the previous record in the district.

Fosun International has won a court order on the mainland forcing the developer Soho China to return to the vendors the 50 per cent stake it bought in a project in Shanghai.

Shares of mainland commercial property developer Soho China jumped nearly 7 per cent yesterday after it reported a 172 per cent rise in net profit, thanks to a big increase in floor area sold during the period.