Evergrande Founder Sells 9 Percent Stake for $344 Million Amid Debt Crunch


HONG KONG—The chairman of China Evergrande Group Hui Ka Yan sold 1.2 billion shares in the company at an average price of HK$2.23 each on Thursday, Hong Kong Stock Exchange filings show. The share sale, which is worth a total of HK$2.68 billion ($344 million), lowers Hui’s stake in the Shenzhen-based real estate company to 67.9 percent from 77 percent. Evergrande has been stumbling from debt deadline to deadline as it grapples with more than $300 billion in liabilities. Hui, who is the property developer’s founder, is now freeing up funds by selling luxury assets including art, calligraphy, and three high-end homes. Evergrande failed to pay coupons totalling $82.5 million due on Nov. 6 and investors are on tenterhooks to see if it can meet its obligations before a 30-day grace period ends on Dec 6. Hui’s share sale represented a 19.8 percent discount to Wednesday closing price of HK$2.78. …

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