SINGAPORE - City Developments Limited (CDL) will invest HK$237.81 million (S$41.1 million) in property services provider E-House's initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, making it a cornerstone investor alongside Alibaba, China state-owned Overseas Chinese Town Holding, and an associate company of Hong Kong-based Henderson Land Development.
E-House's main businesses comprise real estate agency services in the primary market (E-House Marketing), real estate data consultancy (CRIC) and property brokerage network services (Fangyou). With a sales force of 17,000 agents in 186 cities across 30 Chinese provinces, E-House is "widely regarded as China's preeminent real estate transaction service provider", CDL said in a press statement on Tuesday (July 10).
The company's key business of marketing residential projects generated revenue of 3.9 billion yuan (S$796.53 million) in 2017, CDL said.
According to E-House's prospectus, CDL will make the investment through its wholly owned investment holding firm, Educado Company Limited. The offer price for E-House's stock is expected to be between HK$14.38 and HK$17.68, with the price determination date on or around July 14, and no later than July 19.
CDL is expected to subscribe for a range of shares between 13.45 million (at the higher end of the indicative offer price range) to 16.54 million (at the lower end).
CDL group chief executive Sherman Kwek said that he sees "strong potential in E-House's growth", adding that CDL was "very honoured to be invited as a cornerstone investor in E-House's IPO".
"Aside from investing in residential, commercial and mixed-use projects in Shanghai, Suzhou and Chongqing, the next logical step was to invest in the nation's (China's) top sales agency with an extensive network of agents and a deep, robust database for purposes of research and analytics," Mr Kwek said.
CDL's shares were up 1.14 per cent to $9.73 as at 11.11am on Tuesday.