Cash-strapped developer Goldin seeks to raise another HK$8.7 billion in loans and sell Kai Tak site to pay piling debts

By Pearl Liu / SCMP | July 21, 2020 10:22 AM SGT
Pan Sutong, billionaire developer and owner of a race horse, draws the barrier No 10 at Sha Tin Racecourse Parade Ring on December 8, 2016. Photo: SCMP
Goldin Financial Holdings, which staged a spectacular U-turn in 2018 from buying Hong Kong's most expensive waterfront land, said it is actively looking for capital to repay a growing pile of debt, as its stock lost nearly 70 per cent in value since October.
The company, controlled by billionaire Pan Sutong, said it has been "in active discussions" with creditors since March to repay its loans, and has come up with two solutions to refinance its debt, according to the developer's filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The company, once one of the most aggressive asset acquirers in Hong Kong, said it would raise a new loan of HK$8.7 billion (US$1.12 billion), without elaborating. The company sold a waterfront residential plot at the city's former airport called Kai Tak Area 4B Site 4 for HK$7.04 billion in May, incurring a net loss of HK$2.57 billion after fees and financing costs are added.
"The proceeds from the disposal would be primarily used to reduce the group's borrowings, thereby enhancing its financial flexibility as a whole," Goldin said in a filing. Its stock plunged by as much as 25.4 per cent on the Hong Kong exchange to a record low of 94 HK cents, tumbling 70 per cent from HK$3.22 on October 8.
The developer is owned by the 22nd-richest man on Forbes' Hong Kong Rich List this year, with Pan's wealth estimated at US$3.9 billion. The company had been on a shopping spree for assets since 2016, when it paid HK$6.38 billion for a residential plot in Ho Man Tin in March of that year, while bidding for a HK$10 billion luxury home project at the subway station in the same district.
Next on its acquisition list was land at Kai Tak, where Hong Kong's old airport was located, with the former runway jutting into Victoria Harbour with a 270-degree seafront view. Luckin bought Kai Tak Area 4B Site 4 for HK$8.91 billion in November 2018, and bought a commercial site there for HK$11.1 billion in May 2019.
The company's liabilities would soon catch up, forcing Goldin to walk away from the commercial site Kai Tak 4C Site 4, forfeiting HK$25 million in deposit within a month.
The company has total current liabilities of up to HK$11.9 billion at the end of December 31, 2019, according to its interim report issued in March, and over HK$8.8 billion are current interest-bearing bank and other borrowings, which are usually due within a year.
As of the end of last year, the company held cash and cash equivalents of HK$2.38 billion, falling far short of its borrowings.
The assets taken over includes, all shares of Smart Edge, Goldin Financial Global Centre, which is a 27-storey office tower in Kowloon Bay and debts owed by Smart Edge.
Meanwhile, two other subsidiaries, Cheng Mei and Goal Eagle, failed to pay HK$3.5 billion in loans, together with interest, according to a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
"The board has been, and is still, confident of obtaining refinancing of the Notes and the Loan within a short period of time," Goldin said in the filing.
It also added that its office property, the Goldin Financial Global Centre, is currently valued at up to HK$16.5 billion, representing "a comfortable margin" over its debts.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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