Published: Tue, July 11, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Sunac to pay US$9.3bn in Wanda deal

Sunac to pay US$9.3bn in Wanda deal

Property Developer Sunac China Holdings plans to spend $9.3 billion on 76 hotels and a majority stake in 13 other projects from Chinese conglomerate Wanda, the two companies announced on Monday.

The multibillionaire founder of Dalian Wanda Group Wang Jianlin 王健林 once vowed to crush Disney's theme parks in China by building scores of resort complexes around the country.

The sale, which is China's second biggest property deal ever according to Reuters data, also includes at least nine other theme parks and tourist attractions which are yet to be built.

Only three of Wanda's planned parks have been completed to date.

Wanda moved into entertainment from property development in 2006, buying movie theaters and theme parks, but recently adopted an "asset-light" philosophy to prepare to relist its commercial property business.

The transaction was also seen aiding Wanda's case for a mainland listing after its property unit delisted from Hong Kong previous year. The conglomerate pulled its core property unit off of the Hong Kong exchange past year, with plans to relist in mainland China, where valuations are among the world's highest.

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With the latest deal, Sun targeted assets from fellow-billionaire Wang Jianlin, who was among the most acquisitive Chinese tycoons up until a year ago.

"Through this asset transfer, Wanda Commercial's debt ratio will be greatly reduced, all the proceeds will be used to repay loans". The agreement is expected to be finalized in a formal deal signed later this month.

Sunac is one of China's largest real estate developers, based in the eastern Chinese city of Tianjin.

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.

In January it invested $2.2 billion in Chinese tech firm LeEco, which has acknowledged that it expanded too rapidly and was now facing a cash crunch.

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