Chinese household appliance online seller Suning.com said on Sunday that it sold a 23% stake to state-owned investors in a deal worth RMB 14.82 billion ($2.28 billion).

Why it matters: The sale comes as Suning.com and its parent company Suning Appliance Group scramble to pull together cash to repay debts.

Details: Suning.com sold a 23% stake to state-owned investors, according to a statement shared to TechNode on Sunday.

  • Shenzhen-listed Suning.com had announced in a filing on Thursday that shareholders of the company are planning to sell a 20% to 25% stake in the retailer.
  • A 25% stake in the company could be worth around RMB 16 billion ($2.5 billion) based on Suning.com’s latest share price, according to Bloomberg.
  • Shenzhen International Holdings Ltd., a logistics infrastructure developer, acquired 8% and Shenzhen municipality-backed Kunpeng Capital bought a 15% stake.
  • According to the statement, former actual controller and Suning.com founder Zhang Jindong and Suning Holdings together hold a 16.38% stake in the company. Kunpeng Capital holds 15%, Shenzhen International Holdings owns an 8% stake, and Suning Appliance holds 5.45%.
  • Zhang and his affiliated companies combined hold a more than 21% stake in the company, a company spokesperson told TechNode.
  • The company now has no controlling shareholder and no actual controller, according to the statement.
  • The company’s shares were suspended on Thursday for five trading days to avoid price fluctuations resulting from the change.

Context: Suning.com and its parent company are on the hook for a combined RMB 15.8 billion of bonds payable this year, Bloomberg reported citing data from rating firm China Chengxin International Rating Company.

  • As of January, Suning.com’s billionaire founder Zhang was the largest shareholder with a 20.96% stake, followed by Alibaba-backed Taobao’s 19.99%, and Suning Appliance’s 19.88%.
  • The company began in 2018 selling its shares in Alibaba, which had been acquired through a strategic alliance in 2015.
  • The online retailer’s newly established e-commerce unit Yunwang Wandian received RMB 6 billion in December from its Series A.
  • Suning.com acquired 80% equity interest in Carrefour China, paying RMB 4.8 billion in June 2019.

Updated: added detail on the size of the share sold, the investors, and the new ownership stakes, and updated headline to reflect changes.

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.