Billionaire Guo Guangchang — the self-styled Warren Buffet of China, whose conglomerate Fosun International posted a 95% year-on-year dip in annual 2022 profits — has been on an asset-selling spree for almost a year.
Since May, Fosun has agreed to sell assets worth almost $5 billion — including an almost $2 billion stake in the parent company of Nanjing Iron & Steel, an over $500 million stake in Tsingtao Brewery, and the sale of a Japanese resort to a subsidiary, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
On April 2, Fosun announced that it struck a deal to sell a 55% stake in the parent company of Nanjing Iron & Steel to a state-owned Chinese conglomerate called Citic for 13.58 billion yuan after a plan to sell that stake to Jiangsu Shagang Group Co fell through.
But Guo does not seem publicly troubled by these asset sales.
“It’s not pathetic that we are selling assets,” he said at an entrepreneur forum in March, per Bloomberg. “It’s pathetic only if no one wants what we offer,” he added.
Investors seem to be placated by the selling spree.
Hong Kong stock exchange-listed Fosun International’s shares have rebounded to 5.4 Hong Kong dollars, or $0.7, apiece on Tuesday, from a low of 4.6 Hong Kong dollars in September. They’re still down from about 7.8 Hong Kong dollars in late January. Fosun International’s market capitalization is around 44 billion Hong Kong dollars now.
Guo, who grew up poor in eastern China’s Zhejiang province and often draws parallels between himself and legendary investor Warren Buffett, has seen his personal fortune rise by about 60% since September to $1.6 billion, per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Forbes pegs Guo’s wealth significantly higher at $3.5 billion, showing that he is the 848th-richest person on the planet.
Guo, who is now the co-chairman of Fosun, founded the company’s predecessor along with university classmates in 1992 with a 100,000 yuan capital, Reuters reported. The company employs 108,000 people globally, according to its website.
Fosun did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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