Billionaire Zhang Jindong’s 30-year old empire is facing a critical test as concern mounts over Suning Appliance Group Co.’s financial health and its links to China Evergrande Group.
Evidence of liquidity issues at companies linked to Zhang is increasing. Suning Appliance’s creditors agreed to extend by two years a 2.89 billion yuan ($451 million) bond due to mature Wednesday, a sign the company may have otherwise struggled to repay it. Earlier this week, a Beijing court froze 3 billion yuan worth of shares Zhang holds in the group’s retail arm Suning.com Co. for three years. With most of Zhang’s shares pledged as collateral for loans, that could complicate his ability to raise cash and potentially derail a state-backed rescue.