Toyota sales agent puts $1 billion IPO on hold

Bankers blame the current market conditions for Zhongsheng's decision to postpone the deal, but analysts say lofty price expectations by the issuer also played a role.

Zhongsheng Group Holdings, Toyota's major sales and service agent in China, which was supposed to start a roadshow yesterday for its up to $1 billion Hong Kong initial public offering IPO, has put the deal on hold.

The Dalian-based auto retailer, which has represented Toyota under a dealership agreement for the past 15 years, booked more than 50% of its revenue from selling the Japanese brand in China as of September 2009, according to industry watchers.

The troubled Japanese carmaker expanded its vehicle recall to China last month, and is collecting nearly 700,000 cars in the country -- the largest recall ever made by Toyota in the world's fastest growing car market. Toyota's...

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