China Unicom Says Strategic Investors to Take Around 35% Stake in Shanghai-Listed Parent

By Joanne Chiu Features Dow Jones Newswires

China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. (0762.HK) said Wednesday that its Shanghai-listed parent company is seeking to sell shares to a group of strategic investors, including Chinese internet and e-commerce majors Tencent Holdings Ltd. (0770.HK) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA).

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The total consideration for the deal, which is part of Beijing's plan to introduce private investors to its state-owned enterprises, will be around 78 billion yuan ($11.68 billion), the Hong Kong-listed mobile operator said in a post-results statement.

Other strategic investors of the planned private offering, which is subject to approval from regulators and shareholders, include Chinese e-commerce company JD.com Inc. (JD), China Life Insurance Co. (2628.HK), Baidu Inc. (BIDU) and a unit of Suning. They will hold a combined stake of around 35% in Shanghai-listed China United Network Communications Ltd. (600050.SH).

As part of the private share sale, the strategic investors will pay CNY61.73 billion for 9 billion new shares of China United Network, while ultimate state-owned shareholder China Unicom Group will also sell 1.9 billion existing shares at the same offer price for CNY12.98 billion, China Unicom said. China United Network will also introduce an employee-incentive scheme, which will issue restricted yuan-denominated shares to eligible employees for CNY3.21 billion, it said.

China United Network plans to inject any net proceeds into the Hong Kong-listed operator by subscribing more shares in China Unicom via a share placement or a rights issue, China Unicom said.

Shares of China Unicom, which halted trading Wednesday, will resume trading in Hong Kong on Thursday.

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Write to Joanne Chiu at joanne.chiu@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 16, 2017 07:19 ET (11:19 GMT)