HONG KONG: China Evergrande Group did not submit defence documents to a Hong Kong court before a deadline that comes ahead of a winding-up hearing against the company scheduled for next Monday, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
The embattled Chinese property developer was directed by the Hong Kong High Court to submit new documents by mid-last week, the person said.
It was unclear whether Evergrande will make the defence submission or another request for adjournment in the coming days, the person said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak with media.
Evergrande and the Hong Kong High Court did not respond immediately to requests for comment. Failure to show the judge that a restructuring plan is progressing could increase the chances of a winding-up order, lawyers said.
Evergrande, the world’s most indebted property developer, defaulted its offshore debt in late 2021 and started work on a $31.7 billion debt restructuring plan, becoming the poster child of a debt crisis that has since engulfed China’s property sector.
The company in July had been granted another adjournment until Oct. 30 on the winding-up petition based on the progress made on its offshore debt restructuring plan, which required a creditor vote initially scheduled for late September.
That plan was thrown off course when Evergrande last month confirmed that its billionaire founder Hui Ka Yan was under investigation for suspected criminal activities.
The company did not get regulatory approval for issuing new dollar bonds, which is a crucial part of the restructuring plan, and has not held the creditor vote.
Evergrande said on Friday it was revising the terms of a proposed offshore debt restructuring deal to meet the firm’s situation and creditors’ demand, without providing details. It also said the scheme sanction hearings for courts to approval the revamp plan had been vacated.
Its offshore bondholders said this month they were surprised by announcements that its restructuring plan failed to meet regulatory requirements, and raised concerns about a possible liquidation.
Top Shine, an investor in Evergrande unit Fangchebao, had filed the winding-up petition in June 2022 because it said Evergrande had not honoured an agreement to repurchase shares the investor bought in the unit.