Blackstone nears $3 billion deal for Soho China – Bloomberg News

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(Reuters) -Blackstone Group Inc is nearing a deal to buy office developer Soho China Ltd in what would be its biggest real estate investment in the Asian country, Bloomberg News reported here on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Hong Kong-listed Soho China could be valued at about $3 billion in the deal that could be announced as soon as this week, the report said.

Blackstone declined to comment, while Soho China did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The report comes a day after Soho China’s shares were halted for trading at the company’s request, pending an announcement under Hong Kong’s code on takeovers and mergers.

The company has a market value of HK$19.76 billion ($2.55 billion) as of its stock’s last close, according to Refinitiv data.

Soho China is 64% owned by the husband-wife team of Chairman Pan Shiyi and Chief Executive Officer Zhang Xin.

Founded in 1995 by Pan and Zhang, Soho China went public in Hong Kong in 2007 and is well-known for its futuristic office buildings in the mainland.

It has been scouting buyers for its prime commercial property assets as the founders looked to shift their focus to overseas markets.

($1 = 7.7612 Hong Kong dollars)

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