Deals - Asia

Shenzhen Metro to have most voting rights at Vanke after proxy deal

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China Vanke said Shenzhen Metro would become its largest shareholder in terms of voting rights after a proxy agreement with its No. 3 shareholder, a move that gives Vanke management more clout in its power struggle with Baoneng Group.

The property giant has been at the center of a complex battle for boardroom control - rare among listed firms in China - after the Baoneng financial conglomerate built up a 25 percent stake to become its largest shareholder and sought to oust management.

Vanke management appeared to have gained a key advantage early this year after white knight Shenzhen Metro, a state-backed firm - bought a 15.3 percent holding from China Resources Group.

The newly announced agreement between Shenzhen Metro and No. 3 shareholder China Evergrande will give the subway operator 29.38 percent of voting rights in Vanke for one year, as well as proposal rights and rights to participate in general meetings.

Shenzhen Metro holds 15.31 percent of the nation’s second largest homebuilder, while Evergrande holds 14.07 percent.

Reporting by Clare Jim; Additional reporting by Umesh Desai; Editing by Edwina Gibbs