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China Evergrande to raise $2 bln in pre-IPO for property, car marketplace unit

HONG KONG, March 29 (Reuters) - China Evergrande Group on Monday said it will sell 10% of its online real estate and automobile marketplace, Fangchebao (FCB), to 17 investors for HK$16.35 billion ($2.10 billion), in a fundraising ahead of the unit’s initial public offering (IPO).

FCB, with a pre-financing valuation of over 150 billion yuan ($22.92 billion), could list on the Nasdaq or other suitable stock exchange, Evergrande said in a bourse filing.

The country’s most indebted developer has said it would spin off several units to lower its debt amid tighter industry regulation and investor concern about its cash flow.

Its interest-bearing debt was about $110 billion at year-end.

The firm listed Evergrande Property Services Group Ltd in December, raising $1.8 billion. In January, China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd said it would raise $3.4 billion by bringing in six new investors.

China Evergrande Group’s share price soared as much as 8.5% in morning trade to HK$16.08.

Evergrande said the FCB deal would see half of funds raised through selling existing stock and the other half by issuing new shares. The developer will use half of the funds for its own general corporate proposes.

The 17 investors include CITIC Capital and the family of the chairman of New World Development Co Ltd, plus the chief executive of Evergrande, Xia Haijun.

Investors can request Evergrande repurchase the shares at a 15% premium if FCB does not complete its IPO within one year, Evergrande said.

“The group’s financial strength will greatly be enhanced, furthering the rapid development of FCB,” Evergrande said.

The developer is due to announce its 2020 earnings on Tuesday. ($1 = 7.7714 Hong Kong dollars) ($1 = 6.5441 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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