Sunac China Holdings Ltd. won court approval for its multibillion-dollar offshore debt restructuring plan, clearing the last key hurdle for it to become the country’s first major developer to overhaul such liabilities.
(Bloomberg) — Sunac China Holdings Ltd. won court approval for its multibillion-dollar offshore debt restructuring plan, clearing the last key hurdle for it to become the country’s first major developer to overhaul such liabilities.
A Hong Kong court judge ruled in favor of Sunac’s debt blueprint after a so-called sanction hearing Thursday. The developer secured support for the plan two weeks ago from creditors representing 98% of claims that voted.
The court’s sign-off sets Sunac apart from major industry peers such as China Evergrande Group that are still struggling to find a viable debt-restructuring road map as an unprecedented housing crisis unfolds.
Sunac was China’s third-largest builder by contracted sales in 2021, just as a government-driven effort to limit real estate leverage growth set off a plunge in new-home purchases and a cash crunch that’s resulted in record amounts of offshore-bond defaults. The industry has weakened anew after showing signs of recovery earlier this year.
The developer, now ranked 16th, first defaulted on a dollar bond in May 2022 and unveiled its offshore-debt restructuring plan this past March. Sunac’s proposal covers an estimated $10.2 billion of creditor claims, $5.7 billion of which would be compensated with new dollar bonds. The remainder will be settled through getting shares of its property-management arm and convertible notes.
Sunac sought Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in New York last month, a move sometimes required in finalizing a restructuring. Its shares, though down 53% this year, have more than doubled since the start of September — easily the best performer in a gauge of Chinese developers.
(Updates with court ruling)
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