Wanda sell-off set to take it closer to mainland relisting

Updated 2017-07-11 11:31:36 China Daily

Chinese mainland conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group signed a 63.18 billion yuan (.29 billion) deal on Monday to sell 13 cultural tourism projects and 76 hotels to property developer Sunac, a move that could shift its focus to asset-light business and bolster its vision of relisting in the Chinese mainland.

The property-to-entertainment group, which has come under the spotlight for its global acquisition spree, said in a joint statement that it will sell 91 percent of its stake in 13 tourism projects for 29.575 billion yuan, and 76 out of 102 hotels for 33.595 billion yuan.

Sunac, based in Tianjin and listed in Hong Kong, suspended trading of its shares before the market opened on Monday.

The trading halt was once rumored to be related with Sunac's 15.04 billion-yuan investment in cash-strapped entertainment company LeEco, whose worsening financial crisis has dragged share price of Sunac 12 percent lower over the past four trading days, wiping more than HK billion (.024 billion) off its market value.

Bolstered by the headline-making deal, the Hong Kong share price of Wanda Hotel Development was up 46.55 percent to close at HK.85 on Monday, after rocketing as much as 155.20 percent in the morning session to an intraday high of HK.48.

All the projects will continue to be operated under the group's brand name, said the statement. A detailed agreement will be signed by the end of this month.

Wang Jianlin, Asia's richest man who runs Wanda empire, said the deal shows Wanda's determination to set its sight on innovative and asset-light business, including film and television, sports, tourism, internet and finance, according to Chinese mainland business news outlet Caixin.

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