New World Searches for M&A Chief as It Eyes More Deals

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New World Development Co. is looking for a rainmaker to lead dealmaking for the Hong Kong real estate developer that has been diversifying into areas other than property, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company is in the process of searching for a senior executive to oversee its merger and acquisition activities and look for opportunities in areas such as health care and logistics, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

New World Development has been working with headhunters and approached several Hong Kong-based investment bankers for the job, the people said. The incoming executive will work closely with Chief Financial Officer Edward Lau, who is a former banker at Deutsche Bank AG, the people said.

The company has been regularly scouting for M&A talent including senior executives to spearhead its general investment and acquisition development, a representative for New World Development said in an emailed response to Bloomberg News.

New World Development, whose businesses span across real estate, retail and infrastructure, has been revamping its portfolios in the past few years. It has offloaded non-core assets including two shopping malls and its public bus routes and ferry services in Hong Kong. NWS Holdings Ltd., a majority-owned subsidiary of the group, last month agreed to sell its entire stake in environment services company Suez NWS Ltd. to joint venture partner Suez SA for HK$6.5 billion ($838 million).

The conglomerate has also been searching for new investments. In Hong Kong, the company won bids to build and operate a mega sports complex and a HK$20 billion shopping-and-entertainment complex at the city’s airport. The group also ventured into the life insurance business as NWS Holdings acquired FTLife Insurance Co. for HK$21.5 billion in 2018. In China, it has boosted its land reserves including an upscale commercial site in Shanghai for 4.1 billion yuan ($634 million).

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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