Sunac seeks US$537 million in share placement after Wanda acquisition

Indebted developer set to buy 13 tourism-related projects including theme parks from Wanda, in China’s second largest real estate transaction ever

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 July, 2017, 9:12pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 July, 2017, 9:12pm

Sunac China, one of the country’s most indebted developers, is raising up to HK$4.2 billion (US$537 million) in a share placement after it agreed to buy Dalian Wanda Group’s tourism projects for 43.8 billion yuan last week.

Sunac China is selling 220 million shares, priced between HK$18.33 to HK$19.10 each in a top-up placement, according to the terms revealed.

Last week, Wanda Group said it would sell its hotel assets for 19.9 billion yuan (US$3 billion) to Guangzhou R&F Properties, one of the biggest developers in Guangdong province.

Sunac China will pay 43.8 billion yuan to buy 13 tourism-related projects including theme parks from Wanda, making it the second largest transaction ever in China’s real estate market.

Chinese companies’ overseas purchases have come under close scrutiny recently amid a government crackdown on money laundering and a campaign to keep a watch on financial risk ahead of the 19th Party Congress.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission on June 20 verbally instructed large banks to cut off funding for six of Wanda’s overseas purchases including US movie maker Legendary Entertainment – makers of the latest Batman trilogy and Jurassic World.

Sunac, which has been on an estimated 100 billion yuan buying spree, has also caught the regulator’s attention because of its huge investment in Wanda, the company said last week.

“It is a win-win-win for all our three parties and will largely reduce Wanda’s debt,” said Chinese magnate and the founder of Wanda Group, Wang Jianlin, in a press conference in Beijing last week. “It’s also a big step forward in our asset-light transformation.”

The Wanda deal brought Sunac’s total spending to 110 billion yuan in the past six months, including a 15 billion yuan capital injection into cash-strapped Chinese technology giant LeEco Group. Sunac acquired stakes in three LeEco units, and Sun Hongbin, its chairman, was elected on Monday to the board of directors of Leshi in Beijing.

Sunac’s net-debt-to-equity ratio surged to 208 per cent at the end of 2016, from 75 per cent in 2015, the second highest among Chinese developers tracked by Morgan Stanley.

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