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Wanda Hotel to buy $1 billion of assets from Wang-controlled units
August 10, 2017 / 1:33 AM / a month ago

Wanda Hotel to buy $1 billion of assets from Wang-controlled units

FILE PHOTO - A sign of Dalian Wanda Group in China glows during an event in Beijing, China March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Wanda Hotel Development Co Ltd, a unit of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, plans to buy assets worth over $1 billion from firms controlled by its billionaire founder Wang Jianlin, in a move that sent its shares surging over 30 percent.

The restructuring is the latest in a flurry of deals for the group, which has grabbed the spotlight amid a government crackdown on showy overseas ventures and high-profile empire builders that has drawn in several Chinese corporations.

The Hong Kong-listed company said it would buy the entire equity interest in theme park operator Wanda Culture Travel Innovation Group Co Ltd from Wang’s Beijing Wanda Culture Industry Group Co Ltd for 6.3 billion yuan ($945 million).

The deal would be settled either in cash or through the issue of shares or convertible bonds, it added.

It will also buy hotel operator Wanda Hotel Management (Hong Kong) Co Ltd from Wang’s Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co Ltd for 750 million yuan ($112.6 million) in cash, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong bourse late on Wednesday.

Wanda Hotel said it would then sell its interest in Wanda Properties Investment Ltd, Wanda International Real Estate Investment Co Ltd, Wanda Americas Real Estate Investment Co Ltd and Wanda Australia Real Estate Co Ltd to Wang’s Dalian Wanda Commercial for an amount that is yet to be fixed.

It gave no further details.

Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda Group gives a speech at a university in Beijing, China May 12, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

“Wanda Hotel Development will become a strategic platform as Wanda Group’s Hong Kong-listed company focusing on theme park and hotel operation and management,” Dalian Wanda Group said in a statement.

STOCK SURGES 40 PERCENT

Shares of Wanda Hotel, which has a market value of HK$5.4 billion, surged as much as 40.5 percent to their highest in more than two years on Thursday in resumed trade. That compared with a 0.7 percent fall for Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.

The stock, which was suspended on Wednesday pending the restructuring announcement, has jumped about 140 percent since July when Wanda announced plans to sell theme parks and hotels worth more than $9 billion to developer Sunac China Holdings Ltd.

Chinese banks have been told to stop providing funding for several of Wanda’s overseas acquisitions as Beijing tries to curb the conglomerate’s offshore buying spree, according to sources familiar with the matter.

China is also cracking down on risky lending before this year’s key Communist Party congress.

Run by one of China’s richest men, Wang Jianlin, Wanda is one of a handful of Chinese conglomerates that have expanded aggressively abroad over the past few years, into areas well beyond their original business - in this case, property.

Last month, Dalian Wanda Group altered a deal with Sunac China after banks scrutinized their credit risk, by bringing in another developer, Guangzhou R&F Properties Co Ltd.

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree

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