China’s Largest Listed Property Manager Raises $2 Billion

Country Garden Services Holdings Co. raised $2 billion, paving the way for more acquisitions as China’s largest listed property services manager seeks to reach an ambitious revenue goal.

In the biggest additional fundraising in the sector, the Foshan, Guangdong-based company agreed to sell HK$10.5 billion in new shares and issue HK$5.04 billion of zero-coupon convertible bonds due 2022, exchange filings showed Tuesday. That’s more than earlier offered, according to terms for the deal obtained by Bloomberg News.

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The proceeds will be used for acquisitions, expansion of new businesses and general purposes. In March, President Li Changjiang said the company aimed to reach 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) in revenue by 2025, up from 15.6 billion yuan last year. Fundraising is expected to drive the target, CMB International Capital Corp. property analyst Jeffrey Zeng said.

Real estate service providers, whose businesses range from housekeeping to parcel deliveries, are taking advantage of lofty valuations to raise cash and expand through takeovers, and competition has become fierce. In January, China Evergrande Group’s property services unit bought a rival for 1.5 billion yuan to help meet its ambitions of increasing profit by 50% this year.

Country Garden Services announced plans in March to take mid-sized rival Sichuan Languang Justbon Services Group Co. private to expand its business. The deal would use 8.3 billion yuan, more than half of its cash buffer at the end of last year, according to CMB.

While many companies are seeking to buy competitors, others are looking to sell. Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. is weighing a plan to offload its property management business in China for at least $500 million, Bloomberg reported last month.

At HK$75.25 apiece, the share placement represents a 6% discount to the closing price of Country Garden Services in Hong Kong on Monday. The stock fell 1.8% to HK$78.60 at 11:48 a.m. on Tuesday.

Country Garden Services now trades 47 times projected earnings this year, among the highest in the industry, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Listed in Hong Kong in 2018, it’s the biggest publicly traded property management services firm, with a market value of HK$238 billion.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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