How China’s Builder Kaisa Won and Lost a White Knight: Timeline

Sunac China Holdings Ltd. has abandoned a four-month long attempt to acquire Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd., the first Chinese developer to default on U.S. dollar debt.

Below is a timeline of key events leading up to Thursday’s announcement that cast a shadow over Kaisa’s debt restructuring efforts.

*Oct. 17: Kaisa says that allegations in news reports that Chairman Kwok Ying Shing was being detained or has become unreachable are “completely unfounded and untrue.”

*Dec. 3: Kaisa halts trading in Hong Kong after Shenzhen authorities block sales of some of its units in the southern Chinese city.

*Dec. 4: The family trust of Kwok and his two brothers agree to sell shares equal to 11 percent of the company’s issued stock to a unit of Sino Life Insurance Co. for HK$1.7 billion ($219 million).

*Dec. 10: Kaisa says Kwok would resign at the end of the month for health reasons.

*Jan. 1: Kaisa says it failed to pay a HK$400 million loan from HSBC Holdings Plc after Kwok’s resignation triggered automatic repayment.

*Jan. 12: Kaisa skips a $23 million interest payment it was supposed to pay bondholders on Jan. 8.

*Jan. 13: Bloomberg reports that Kaisa is being investigated by the Chinese government about links to Jiang Zunyu, a senior official in Shenzhen who’s under a probe.

*Feb. 6: Sunac says it agreed to buy a 49.3 percent stake in Kaisa from the founding Kwok family for HK$4.55 billion, and will make a general offer for the rest of the company for HK$1.80 a share.

*Feb. 16: Kaisa says outstanding debt jumped to 65 billion yuan ($10.5 billion) as of Dec. 31, more than double from half a year earlier, and the company expects a “substantial” decline in 2014 profit.

*March 16: Kaisa says it was unprofitable in 2014, revising an earlier forecast for a profit.

*March 24: Standard & Poor’s downgrades Kaisa to default after the developer fails to pay bond coupons due March 18 and March 19.

*March 31: Kaisa postpones its results announcement for 2014 because auditors need more time to verify its accounts, and suspends trading in Hong Kong.

*April 9: Kaisa says most of the government-imposed restrictions on sales at its property projects in Shenzhen have been lifted.

*April 13: Kwok returns as Kaisa chairman.

*April 20: Kaisa becomes China’s first developer to default on its U.S. currency debt after failing to honor missed payments on two dollar bonds.

*April 30: Bloomberg reports that Sunac has sought permission from Hong Kong’s stock exchange to proceed with its acquisition even though Kaisa hasn’t published audited results for 2014.

*May 5: Kwok tells an offshore bondholder steering committee that he may offer them a better debt restructuring proposal, according to a Bloomberg report.

*May 28: Sunac walks away from the deal.

— With assistance by Dingmin Zhang

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