(Bloomberg) -- China Evergrande Group has avoided what would have been the company’s first default on a public onshore bond, with a unit obtaining investor backing to delay early repayment of a 4.5 billion yuan ($707 million) note. 

Bondholders of more than half of the principal agreed to a proposed payment extension, the developer’s Hengda Real Estate Group Co. unit said in a Shenzhen stock exchange filing. The firm had a Jan. 8 deadline to meet investor demands for early repayment before seeking a delay last week, and a vote on the extension offer had been extended to Thursday. The cash-strapped developer had been seeking a six-month delay on its 6.98% January 2023 note.

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Evergrande was labeled a defaulter last month after missing dollar-bond payments. Ahead of the defaults, the company set up a seven-member risk management committee, with it planning to “actively engage” with creditors. The panel includes senior managers from state-owned enterprises in Evergrande’s home province of Guangdong as well as China Cinda Asset Management Co., the nation’s largest bad-debt manager by assets. 

The developer, with more than $300 billion in liabilities as of mid-2021, had been prioritizing payments to migrant workers and suppliers as regulators urged Evergrande to head off any risk of social unrest, Bloomberg reported in December. It has also been under pressure to finish the more than 1 million residences that buyers put deposits on, and repay retail investors who bought some of its wealth management products. Proceeds from those investment sales were used to help finance construction activity.

Bondholders also passed a proposal requesting the borrower to promise it won’t evade its debts, according to the filing.

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