Kaisa Purchase Tipped by Sunac Chairman as He Joins Vote

Sunac China Holdings Ltd. was described by its chairman as the firm most likely to take over troubled Chinese property developer Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd.

A screen grab of Sunac China Chairman Sun Hongbin’s microblogging account on Wednesday showed he’d voted in an online poll on the topic. No comment was immediately available from a Tianjin-based press official for Sunac.

The Shenzhen city government held talks with developers to take over Kaisa after the company failed to make debt payments and its founder Kwok Ying Shing resigned as chairman. Kaisa, one of the largest homebuilders in Shenzhen, is being investigated over alleged links to a senior official in the city, people familiar with the matter said this month.

Kaisa would become the first Chinese developer to default on a dollar bond if it doesn’t pay a missed $23 million coupon payment on its $500 million dollar bond, due Jan. 8, after a 30-day grace period, according to Standard & Poor’s. The company’s bonds have rallied since reports said the government is looking for buyers in Kaisa.

In the poll on the Weibo microblogging service, Sunac was the most popular choice to buy Kaisa among companies that also included China Vanke Co., Shenzhen Overseas Chinese Town Co. and China Resources Land Ltd.

Sunac dropped a HK$6.3 billion ($812 million) deal to buy a 24 percent stake in property company Greentown China Holdings Ltd. last year. The transaction fell through after Greentown’s chairman Song Weiping said he was wrong to sell shares to Sunac and the two companies “don’t blend.”

— With assistance by Dingmin Zhang, and Steven Yang

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