Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda’s hotel division to sell London property project
Wanda Hotel Development to make a gain of about HK$434 million from sale
Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda’s hotel division is selling its property project in London, according to a stock exchange filing in Hong Kong late on Tuesday.
Wanda Hotel Development said it would sell a 60 per cent stake in Wanda International Real Estate Investment, which was set up to invest in the Nine Elms Square property project, a deal worth £470 million (US$646.76 million), in southwest London.
The remaining 40 per cent stake, held by Wanda HK, which also owns Wanda Hotel, will also be sold, according to the stock exchange filing.
Wanda, founded by Chinese tycoon Wang Jianlin, decided to pull out of the deal to buy Nine Elms – a two-tower residential and hotel development currently under construction in London – last year following pressure from regulators in Beijing over its overseas investments.
The statement said Wanda Hotel Development will make a gain of about HK$434 million following the sale, which includes total debt of about HK$1.68 billion.
Wanda has denied the company was suffering from a cash flow problem, or that its assets had shrunk massively following allegations made by a Chinese blogger.
Wanda denied the report but acknowledged it was undertaking a strategic review of its property projects and would consider any business opportunities that could create value for shareholders.
The company is one among several Chinese asset buyers that have been under close scrutiny, as China clamps down on borrowings by high-profile conglomerates to maintain financial stability.
The South China Morning Post reported in November the company was seeking to sell five large-scale projects in Britain, the United States and Australia to a single buyer for an estimated US$5 billion.
Nine Elms is not the only acquisition dropped from Wanda’s overseas shopping list. The company also abandoned its bid to develop the 197-hectare Bandar Malaysia, the largest real estate development in Kuala Lumpur.