Sunac provides loan lifeline to Leshi

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PROPERTY giant Sunac, one of the major shareholders of Leshi Internet Information & Technology, said yesterday that it has offered a 1.79 billion yuan (US$270 million) loan to the Shenzhen-listed IT company to support its smart TV business operation.

Hong Kong-listed Sunac will provide Leshi a 1.29 billion yuan loan for general cash flow and an additional 500 million yuan loan for its TV unit. Meanwhile, Sunac is also offering 3 billion yuan of guarantees covering Leshi’s debts, the property giant said in a statement yesterday.

Leshi, whose shares have been suspended from trading since April, faces heavy debts and cash problems because of aggressive expansion from smart TV and online video to smartphone and new-energy car by the company and its parent firm LeEco.

Shares of Leshi, which used to be the top firm on the ChiNext board by market value, are now worth about 3.9 yuan each, only a quarter of the price in May, according to several funds owning its shares.

In January, Sunac invested 15 billion yuan in LeEco. In July, Sun Hongbin, chairman and executive director of Sunac, was appointed Leshi head, replacing Jia Yueting, LeEco’s founder and former CEO. Jia, who is still in the United States, said recently he couldn’t pay the debt in the short term.

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