dglobalnews.com Sunac to buy Wanda projects for $9.3b
Published: Tue, July 11, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Sunac to buy Wanda projects for $9.3b

Sunac to buy Wanda projects for $9.3b

The Hong Kong-traded shares of Wanda Hotel Development shot up 145% on Monday morning on news that Chinese property giant Dalian Wanda Group would sell a majority stake in many of its theme parks and hotels in the country to rival developer Sunac China for $9.3bn.

The deal marks Sun's biggest gambit, building on a spree totaling more than $12 billion over the past year as Sunac expands beyond its core focus on residential real estate. The deal includes Wanda's three major theme parks that are already opened and all planned tourist attractions.

Wanda, headed by one of China's richest men, Wang Jianlin, had been one of the most acquisitive companies overseas, spending billions on a range of USA entertainment properties.

It is thought that the deal will go towards reducing Wanda's commercial debt pile. That business delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange past year and is now seeking a listing in Shanghai.

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Wanda is to control the construction and operation of the 13 cultural projects and the firms are to cooperate in a number of other areas, including films, the statement said.

Wanda did not officially state a reason for the sale, but in an interview with Chinese business outlet Caixin, Wang said the deal would substantially reduce Wanda's debt and move the company closer to the "asset-light" model he has been publicly espousing and pursuing for some time. "Wanda Commercial plans to repay most of the bank loans this year", Wang told Caixin.

Sunac has emerged as the most acquisitive Chinese developer in the past 12 months and its property holdings have expanded rapidly, from four cities in 2011 to 44 a year ago.

The southbound quota for the Shanghai-Hong Kong Connect, now set at 10.5 billion yuan (S$2.13 billion), saw net inflows of 1.54 billion yuan. Earlier this year, it threw a lifeline to Beijing-based LeEco Holdings, investing $2.2 billion in the troubled tech and entertainment company.

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