Qatar fund to sell stake in HK department store operator for $662 mln


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HONG KONG (Reuters) – Sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holding LLC is selling its entire shareholding in China and Hong Kong department store operator Lifestyle International Holdings Ltd (1212.HK) and Lifestyle China Group Ltd (2136.HK) for an aggregate HK$5.2 billion ($662.83 million).

Lifestyle International Holdings Ltd (1212.HK) said on Wednesday its substantial shareholder Bellshill Investment Company, a unit of Qatar, will sell its entire 23.16 percent stake in the company for HK$4.45 billion through a share placement.

Bellshill plans to sell 371.12 million shares of Lifestyle International at HK$12 apiece in the share sale. Lifestyle’s chairman Thomas Lau has agreed to buy 280 million shares, lifting his direct and indirect shareholding in the company to 69.16 percent from the current 51.69 percent.

The Qatar unit has also agreed to sell 371.12 million shares, or 23.16 percent, of Lifestyle China Group Ltd (2136.HK) for HK$753.4 million. Lau will buy 186 million shares, raising his direct and indirect shareholding in the firm to 63.3 percent from 51.69 percent.

No reason was given for the sale of the shares.

Sovereign wealth fund Qatar, through its unit Bellshill, had agreed in October 2014 to buy 19.9 percent of the department store operator in Hong Kong and China from Chow Tai Fook Jewellery (1929.HK) and the family of Hong Kong businessman Thomas Lau for $616 million.

Shares of Lifestyle International eased 0.2 percent in early Wednesday trade, while Lifestyle China rose 12.7 percent. That compared with a 1.1 percent gain in the benchmark index .HSI.

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Shri Navaratnam


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