Legend Holdings

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Legend Holdings Limited (Chinese: Lianxiang) is a Chinese investment holding company with interests in finance, real estate, and information technology, and the controlling shareholder of its better-known subsidiary, the Lenovo Group.[1] Formed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, [2] Lenovo was originally Legend Computer, until the English name was changed in 2004. Their Chinese names however remain the same: Lianxiang.

Leadership[edit]

Liu Chuanzhi[edit]

Main article: Liu Chuanzhi

In June 2012, Liu stepped down as chairman of Legend Holdings, the parent company of Lenovo. In the years just prior to his resignation, Liu focused on improving Legend's growth, building-up its core assets, and issue a public offering of stock between 2014 and 2016. Legend's major assets include Lenovo, Legend Capital, a real-estate venture called Raycom, Digital China, and Hony Capital.[3][4]

In an interview with the BBC, Liu said that his vision for Legend is for it "to become an industry in it its own right" and that he wants it "to be become the top enterprise across industries...not only in China, but in the whole world." Liu said that he realises that his vision is extremely ambitious and may have to be left to his successors to implement.[5]

Liu said in an interview with Forbes that he hopes to diversify away from IT-related businesses and that Legend Holding's assets will be focused mainly on information technology, real estate, services, coal processing, and agriculture. He said agriculture "will become the next strategic development area for Legend Holdings." Liu says agriculture is just one part of what he sees as "huge" opportunities in sectors that cater to Chinese consumers. In the same interview, Liu said that Legend's focus will continue to remain on China. "Whatever we do has to fit into something we are doing in China," said Liu when referring to plans for overseas investment.[4] Liu said in July 2012 that he plans to take Legend Holdings public with a listing in Hong Kong. Forbes speculated that Liu may be trying to "create a Chinese version of General Electric." [6]

Subsidiaries[edit]

Joyvio[edit]

Joyvio is Legend Holdings' vehicle for investment in the food industry. Legend has invested more than 1 billion yuan in Joyvio. Joyvio will pursue complete vertical integration from farming all the way to retailing. Joyvio's first product was blueberries. In November 2013, its product range was expanded to kiwifruit. The kiwifruit has been branded "Liu Kiwi" in honour of Liu Chuanzhi. Liu is responsible for Legend's move into food. Since 2011 Joyvio has been acquiring farms around the world including blueberry farms in Shandong and Chile and kiwifruit farms in Sichuan, Shaanxi, Henan, and Chile. The firm has plans to start selling cherries and grapes from the United States, Australia, and Chile by the end of 2013.[7]

Joyvio has taken advantage of Legend's experience in information technology to set up a tracking system to ensure the quality and safety of its products. Customers can scan codes on its packages in order to find out what farm the product came from, who supervised production, what tests were performed, and information on the soil and water quality. The company is also applying the original design manufacture business model common in the technology industry in order to work effectively with small family farms and agricultural cooperatives. Joyvio holds training exercises with farmers in order to prepare them to deal quickly and effectively with bad weather.[7]

Joyvio announced on 30 March 2014 that it had acquired a 60 percent share of Hangzhou Longguan Tea Industrial Company for roughly 30 million yuan or about US$4.83 million. Longguan was previously a fully state-owned enterprise operating under the jurisdiction of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Longguan produces Hangzhou's famous Longjing tea. The company had sales of 32.45 million yuan in 2012. According to the company's annual report is has been growing 40 to 50 percent per year. Joyvio has taken over day-to-day control of Longguan. Liu Chuanzhi said he aims to bring innovation and commercial methods to the tea industry. Liu said that Joyvio would invest in other well-known tea brands and related products. [8]

iByer Dental[edit]

In 2014 Legend invested 1 billion yuan (US$160 million) in iByer Dental, a twenty-year-old chain of dental clinics. As of July 2014, Legend planned to double iByer's size to 200 locations over three years. Legend's move into healthcare was facilitated by recently implemented healthcare reform legislation designed to encourage private investment. Legend said it expects healthcare spending in China to triple to US$1 trillion by 2020 due to an aging population, an increase in non-communicable diseases acquired through lifestyle, and an increased interest in health due to higher incomes. China has the lowest number of dentists per capita among the G20. [9]

Other subsidiaries[edit]

Other major subsidiaries are Legend Capital, Raycom Real Estate Development Co. Ltd. and Hony Capital. Legend Holdings injected originating capital into the Hony Capital Group, a pioneer in China’s home grown private equity industry with approximately US$4.4 billion under management.[10]

Another listed subsidiary, Digital China (Chinese Shenzhou Shuma), was part of the Legend Holdings, but shareholding reduced to around 10%.

References[edit]

External links[edit]