Sunac to buy Wanda projects for $9.3b

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

Standard & Poor's had downgraded Wanda's commercial real estate unit, the country's largest property developer, in December citing rising financial leverage and slower-than-expected asset disposals.

Sunac also will take a 91 percent stake in 13 other "cultural and tourism projects" within China.

"Through this asset transfer, Wanda Commercial's debt ratio will be greatly reduced, all the proceeds will be used to repay loans". Two that opened in Nanchang and Hefei past year do not rank in the top 20 by attendance for Asia Pacific, consultancy AECOM's 2016 theme park index shows.

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 past year.

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The deal is believed to be part of Wanda's drive to cut its massive debt load and bolster its case with Beijing regulators for an IPO. It has also been very active globally, buying USA cinema chain operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc and taking a controlling stake in US film studio Legendary Entertainment a year ago.

Wanda announced this morning that it would sell 76 hotels and 91 per cent stakes in 13 tourism projects to Sunac. "It's unclear if the sale of their tourism projects is good for them, especially since those tourism culture projects are Wanda's flagship ones". Developers spent a record 96.7 billion yuan in the second quarter on acquiring competitors or their assets, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shares in Wanda Hotel Development surged more than 150 percent after the news.

Wanda, owned by one of China's richest men, Wang Jianlin, will continue to operate all the projects under the company's brand name. There have been no signs - yet - that Wanda intends to retreat from its significant investments in movie theaters and Hollywood production companies. Sunac, which is listed in Hong Kong, had suspended its shares ahead of the announcement.

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