Chinese Tech Billionaires Plan to Take Part in $1.2 Billion Fosun Sale

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Founders of China’s two biggest Internet companies are taking part in Fosun International Ltd.’s $1.2 billion share sale, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Funds backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder Jack Ma and Tencent Holdings Ltd. chairman Ma Huateng are buying shares in the private placement, the people said Tuesday, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Fosun’s parent is selling 465 million shares at HK$20 each, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Fosun, backed by Chinese billionaire Guo Guangchang, is selling stock to take advantage of a rally that has driven Hong Kong’s benchmark index to a seven-year high. The two tech tycoons took part in China Taiping Insurance Holdings Co.’s $1.7 billion private share sale last week, making the Fosun investment the second such deal this month.

Shares of Fosun International closed 2.4 percent lower at HK$20.45 in Hong Kong after paring losses of as much as 4.5 percent.

Fosun declined to comment. Canny Lo, a spokeswoman for Tencent in Shenzhen, declined to comment. Melanie Lee, a spokeswoman for Alibaba in Hong Kong, didn’t immediately comment.

Fosun Group has been on an acquisition spree ranging from Australian energy companies to New York city office buildings. Fosun International said last week it is planning a $1.84 billion merger with Bermuda-based insurer Ironshore Inc. after buying the shares it doesn’t already own.

The placing agents for the sale are Morgan Stanley, UBS AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Global Markets, CMB International Capital Corp., Hani Securities HK Ltd. and Citic CLSA Securities.