Chinese conglomerate Citic Group, whose businesses span property, resources and banking, plans to inject its vast assets into its Hong Kong-listed unit in a multi-billion-dollar deal that will help it tap overseas investment.
The country's largest state-run conglomerate will hand all its shares in Citic Limited -- its operating company with unaudited assets worth about $36.2 billion at the end of last year -- to Hong Kong unit Citic Pacific.
"These will enhance its competitiveness and ability to capture the economic growth opportunities in China,"Citic Pacific said in a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Wednesday.
"Citic Pacific will be a stronger company through a much enlarged shareholders’ equity, broader range of businesses and deeper managerial skills."
Shares in Citic Pacific soared as much as 30 percent on Thursday before easing back to end the morning session 13.2 percent higher at HK$14.34 ($1.85).
Citic Pacific said it had signed a framework agreement for the deal, which it will finance through cash and shares and which must still be approved by the Hong Kong stock exchange and shareholders.
The news comes as China's leaders embark on a reform programme of state-run enterprises that have opened them up to overseas investors.
It will also be welcomed by Hong Kong's exchange after Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba this month opted to list in New York, calling into question its ability to maintain its status as the key revenue-raising hub for mainland firms.
"If the potential acquisition is completed, Citic Pacific’s improved credit profile will give the company increased funding flexibility to finance its business," it said.