Dalian Wanda to Sell $9.3 Billion in Hotels and Tourism Stakes

Dalian Wanda to Sell $9.3 Billion in Hotels and Tourism Stakes

Wanda Owner Wang Jianlin is the second richest man in China, behind Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

Sunac will buy 76 hotels from Wanda and purchase a 92 percent stake of 13 cultural and tourism projects.

Wanda is among conglomerates including Fosun International Ltd (復星國際), HNA Group Co (海航集團) and Anbang Insurance Group Co (安邦保險集團) whose loans are under government scrutiny after China's banking regulator asked some lenders to provide information on overseas loans to the companies, people familiar with the matter said last month.

Last year Disney opened a theme park in Shanghai, its fourth outside the United States after Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Wanda, a commercial property developer that has diversified into entertainment, theme parks, and sports - partly as a buffer against Chinese real-estate volatility - was at the forefront of the overseas push, spending billions on a range of USA entertainment properties and other investments.

Wanda is to use all proceeds from the deal to pay back loans, according to the report, which also cited an interview with Wang.

Dalian Wanda to Sell $9.3 Billion in Hotels and Tourism Stakes

With the latest deal, Sun targeted assets from fellow billionaire Wang Jianlin (王健林), who was among the most acquisitive Chinese tycoons up till previous year.

Indeed, last December ratings agency Standard&Poor's downgraded the Wanda Commercial's bonds to just one notch above so-called "junk" status. Tourism and entertainment had appeared to be the main parts of a pivot to more consumer-focused businesses by Wanda in recent years, exemplified by the multi-bilion dollar acquisitions of Hollywood movie studio Legendary Entertainment and move-theater chain AMC Entertainment.

Still, selling away the bulk of his "Wanda City" projects - massive multi-billion-dollar complexes with theme parks and lodgings - for 29.6 billion yuan represents a departure from Wang's past predictions that he'll build a tourism empire bigger than that of Walt Disney Co.

In a brief joint statement, the two companies said Sunac would buy 76 hotels outright, without specifying which properties.

Shares in Wanda Hotel Development, the group's listed unit in Hong Kong, surged after the news and were trading 74 percent higher at HK$1.01 by early afternoon.

Wanda said Tianjin-based Sunac will be responsible for all the loans for the projects, but the brand name and design of the projects will remain unchanged, and they will still be operated and managed by Wanda.

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