Billionaire Hui Ka Yan’s property group boosted its stake in China Vanke Co., the developer at the center of a protracted ownership tussle, to 5 percent.
Companies controlled by China Evergrande Group paid 9.97 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) for mainland-listed A-shares between July 25 and Aug. 8, Vanke said in a filing on Monday to Shenzhen’s stock exchange. Evergrande last week said that it had a 4.68 percent holding.
“Evergrande is hoping to have influence in Vanke, and we expect this will eventually turn into a strategic investment,” JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts led by Hong Kong-based Ryan Li wrote in a report last week. “Evergrande has a track record of hostile takeover attempts.”
The Guangzhou-based Evergrande last week cited Vanke’s “strong” financial performance as China’s largest developer as a reason for buying in.
Vanke has been at the center of a battle for control since last year when Baoneng Group displaced China Resources (Holdings) Co. as the largest stakeholder. The emergence of Evergrande as a shareholder was among recent twists in a dispute that has drawn scrutiny from China’s securities regulator.
— With assistance by Li Liu