US private equity group Blackstone has scrapped its planned $3.3 billion acquisition of Chinese property developer Soho China, with Beijing’s antitrust authorities not yet giving the deal the green light, reports the Financial Times. The group had made its offer conditional on approval by the country’s competition authorities and in a joint statement on Friday, Blackstone and Soho China said they would not be able to receive antitrust approval in the agreed upon timeframe.
The HK$5-a-share ($0.64) offer made in June valued the Chinese real estate group at HK$26bn ($3.3 billion) but came before Beijing expanded its regulatory clampdown on the technology sector to other industries.
Soho’s portfolio of prime real estate in China’s top cities had been set to be a centrepiece of Blackstone’s expanding footprint in the country.
News of the proposed takeover immediately caused consternation in China, with Soho China founders Pan Shiyi and wife Zhang Xin accused online of selling out and trying to flee the country with their money.