Developer SOHO China in talks with overseas investors for potential takeover

(Reuters) - Office developer SOHO China Ltd 0410.HK on Wednesday said it was in talks with overseas financial investors to explore a strategic partnership that could lead to a takeover offer, but did not specify who the investors were.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group Inc BX.N was in exclusive talks to take SOHO China private in a $4 billion deal, according to two sources, in one of its biggest bets yet on the Chinese market.

The U.S. firm offered HK$6 ($0.77) per share to take the company private, according to the exclusive Reuters report.

The discussions “may or may not lead to a general offer for the issued share capital of the company,” Hong Kong-listed SOHO China said in a statement, in response to media reports.

As of Wednesday, no decision had been made on whether to proceed with a potential deal and the company had not signed any definite agreement relating to it either, SOHO China said.

The company’s shares jumped as much as 39.9% to HK$4.17 following the Reuters report - their highest since June 2018 - before trading in them was halted at 11:12 local time on Tuesday.

SOHO China said it has requested the Hong Kong stock exchange to allow its shares to resume trading on March 12.

Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens