In preparation for the IPO of Legend Holdings Ltd, Chairman Liu Chuanzhi announced that Legend has invested in more than 200 companies and will seek more.
Legend, the parent company of Lenovo Group Ltd, said it will get listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange no earlier than 2014. Before the IPO, the company needs to diversify its core assets, which initially were focused mainly on the technology industry.
The company aims at three fields - technology, biological health products and new-technology manufacturing - and has established subsidiary companies and programs to invest in startup enterprises.
Legend Capital and Hony Capital (Beijing) Co Ltd are Legend subsidiaries. Legend Capital holds 12 billion yuan ($18.75 billion) and has invested in more than 130 companies, including China Auto Rent Ltd, the most popular car rental company. To date, 19 of the companies have been listed.
Hony Capital holds 30 billion yuan and has invested in more than 40 startup companies, including overseas enterprises.
In 2009, Legend started a 400-million-yuan angel investment fund called Legend Star. The program also provides capital and training and has given assistance to more than 20 startup teams.
"Around 70 percent of Legend's profit came from investment programs. We will combine all our good investments to prepare for the IPO," Liu said.
A big part of the company's projects come from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which has "had many problems transforming their research achievements into products before", according to Liu.
Nano Think Ltd was jointly invested in by Legend Star program and CAS in 2008. Its green nanometer printing technology was invented by CAS, and Song Yanlin, CEO of Nano Think, was a professor at CAS. He participated in the Legend Star program in 2009 as an academic, but he now is a successful businessman.
"My company set up a plan for entering other industries in 2009, and I think biology and manufacturing industries will be the most promising in the near future," Liu said.
Besides technology and industry, Liu also invests in agricultural products, including fruit and Chinese white wine, and he said his company will launch its own brand of agricultural products later.
The Legend Star program will invest 200 million yuan in startup companies and emerging industries this and next year, according to the company.
Legend's sales revenue reached 147 billion yuan in 2010. It currently has 35,000 employees.