Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and Hong Kong’s family office Edward Wong Development Company are planning to sell significant stakes in Shanghai-based developer Chongbang Group, PERE can reveal.
GIC and EWD are together offloading over 40 percent of the ownership stakes in the firm, according to market sources. PERE understands that the sale of the interests has been marketed since the end of last year. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is representing both sellers in the sale.
“Combined, it is a big investment for a buyer to make because obviously it is a sizable block of shares. This might limit their market,” said one of the sources. The impact of the sale on Chongbang would ultimately depend on the type of buyer that purchases the ownership stakes from GIC and EWD, the source said.
GIC declined to comment while EWD and Chongbang had not responded to PERE’s inquiries at press time.
Chongbang has been supported by long-term institutional capital since day one. Both GIC and EWD are founding investors in the Shanghai-based developer, owner and operator of retail-anchored mixed-use projects, while EWD managing director Stephen Wong is also co-founder and chairman at the firm. In 2015, Canadian real estate company Ivanhoé Cambridge and Dutch pension asset manager APG Asset Management also acquired significant shares in Chongbang for approximately $920 million. It is understood that each of the four major shareholders owns around a quarter of the company’s shares.
Founded in 2003, Chongbang is led by Wong and Shui On Properties’ former senior executive Henry Cheng. The firm owns and operates 4.6 million square feet of retail and commercial space in Shanghai with another 4.5 million square feet under development. The group is known for developing lifestyle-themed retail complexes under the brand Life Hub.