A Hong Kong court has ordered the liquidation of the property giant China Evergrande Group, whose $300 billion in liabilities makes it the world’s most indebted developer.
According to a Reuters report, Justice Linda Chan’s ruling came after the company failed to present a viable restructuring plan more than two years since it defaulted on its offshore debt.
“It is time for the court to say enough is enough,” said Chan in her ruling today.
The judge appointed Alvarez & Marsal as the liquidator who would be responsible for a new restructuring plan. Tiffany Wong, managing director of Alvarez & Marsal, told reporters that her company’s “priority is to see as much of the business as possible retained, restructured, and remain operational. We will pursue a structured approach to preserve and return value to the creditors and other stakeholders.”
Evergrande CEO Siu Shawn told Chinese media his company is still focused on completing home building projects despite the liquidation order, adding the ruling would not affect the operations of its onshore and offshore units.
However, it is uncertain how the Chinese government will respond to the Hong Kong court’s ruling. Gary Ng, senior economist at Natixis, told Reuters, “As most of Evergrande’s assets are in mainland China, there are uncertainties about how the creditors can seize the assets and the repayment rank of offshore bondholders, and situation can be even worse for shareholders.”