Chemical Suppler To Auto Industry Ascends To China Billionaire Ranks

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Xu Xianda, chairman of Guangdong Delian Group, has joined the ranks of the world’s billionaires following gains in the share price of his Shenzhen-listed supplier of chemical products to the auto industry such as brake fluid, coolants and gasoline additives.

Delian’s shares have gained after the company completed a private placement this month. The company sold 57.2 million new shares at 16.4 yuan apiece, raising $151 million to expand its distribution. Delian plans to open 110 stores in 12 major cities.

Delian is currently a supplier in China to Shanghai Volkswagen, Jinbei GM, Changan Ford, BYD , and Geely, among other automakers. China has emerged in recent years as the world’s largest auto market, boosting demand for a swath of products and services. Delian’s revenue was 1.7 billion yuan, or $274 million, in 2014, an increase of 5.3% from a year earlier. Net profit was 170.6 million yuan, or $27.5 million, a gain of 6.7%.

Xu, 63, worked at a chemicals factory in the southern Chinese city of Foshan after graduating from high school. He founded Shenlian, the predecessor of Delian Group, in Nanhai in 1992. Xu together with his son Tuanhua and daughter Qingfang own 54% of Delian, a stake worth 6.4 billion yuan, or $1 billion, at yesterday’s closing price of 31.2 yuan. Tuanhua is vice chairman and CEO; Qingfang is a deputy general manager.

China had 213 members on the 2015 Forbes Billionaires List unveiled earlier this month, second only to the United States.

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