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Billionaire couple from Soho China lose suitor as $ 3 billion acquisition talks with Blackstone End




Soho China, one of China’s largest and best-known commercial real estate developers, and Blackstone Group have ended negotiations whereby the US investment firm allegedly bought the Beijing-based company as part of a transaction worth $ 3 billion.

The two, who announced a preliminary deal in June, spoke of a lack of progress on the decision, according to a file filed Friday.

The deal came as China’s economy continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, and signaled Blackstock’s confidence in the country’s long-term prospects, even amid a period of geopolitical tension between China and the United States as well as left-wing political changes in Beijing. Blackstone offered HK $ 5 per share; Soho China closed at HK $ 3.50 on Friday on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Founded in 1995 and controlled by billionaire couple Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, Soho China owns approximately 1.3 million square meters of real estate, primarily in Shanghai and Beijing. Signature projects with architect Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016, helped put the couple and Zhang on the global real estate map.

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Both are now worth $ 3.8 billion on Forbes’ real-time billionaire list.

Blackstone had $ 196 billion in real estate investments as of March 31. The company is run by American billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, the son of a haberdashery store owner whose philanthropy includes a school in Beijing, Schwarzman College. New York-traded shares in Blackstone Group fell 0.5% on Friday to close at $ 128.74.

In other recent investments in China, Blackstone bought a 70% stake in an urban logistics park in southern China’s Guangzhou city last November for $ 1.1 billion from the R&F Group, expanding thus the logistics portfolio of Blackstones China of about a third.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, is home to the second-highest number of billionaires after the United States.

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