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LeEco repays part of China Merchant Bank debt

Reuters  |  SHANGHAI 

(Reuters) - has repaid HK$807 million ($103.20 million) of a owed to Merchants and will seek to negotiate with the to secure the release of some of its frozen assets, the wife of the embattled conglomerate's founder said.

Gan Wei, who has been entrusted by the founder to exercise shareholder rights at LeEco's listed units and to handle asset sales, said on her official account on Sunday that the and interest payments owed to Merchants had amounted to HK$1.4 billion.

has repaid part of this after selling shares in its affiliate Coolpad Group, Gan said.

The entertainment, and group has struggled to pay its debts after rapid expansion into multiple sectors sparked a cash crunch and a plunge in the shares of a listed unit - smart TV firm and At its peak owed creditors 10 billion yuan.

Merchants applied in July to have some of LeEco's assets frozen, saying a unit, Leview Mobile HK Limited, had been late making interest payments on a loan.

In a letter published last week, Jia referred to the loan as one of the key causes of the cash-flow problems.

"Our next step is to actively seek communication with Merchants with the hope that we can get some of our frozen assets proportionately released so that we can repay more of our debts. We hereby request Merchants to understand and support us", Gan said in the post.

Merchants did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Coolpad on Friday said its top shareholder Leview Mobile HK Ltd had reduced its stake to 10.95 percent from 28.78 percent by selling shares to

Gan also said 929 million yuan worth of assets had been transferred from LeEco's to another of its core listed unit's Tianjin-based subsidiaries, New Leshi Smart Home, to pay off some debts.

The firm said last week that it was trying to get 3 billion yuan worth of funding.

Founder Jia was placed on an official blacklist of defaulters in early December, a move taken by Chinese courts to put pressure on people and entities to repay debts, and was ordered by regulators to return to the country before the end of 2017 to address the mounting pile linked to his firms.

But Jia defied the order to return, saying he needed to stay in the as a fundraising for his business was making progress. He empowered his wife and brother, Jia Yuemin, to act on his behalf.

($1 = 7.8199 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Additional Reporting by Shu Zhang in BEIJING; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 09:25 IST