Wanda looks to raise US$6b by listing businesses in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 October, 2014, 6:17am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 October, 2014, 6:17am

The mainland's property-to-film conglomerate Wanda Group will celebrate the opening of its 100th Wanda plaza tomorrow in Kunming, Yunnan province, while seeking to raise up to US$6 billion by listing its core onshore shopping centres and hotel business in Hong Kong.

In a prospectus released last month, Wanda said 71 of the 159 Wanda plazas it planned to build were finished by the end of June.

It also said 48 of the 102 hotels it had planned had been completed.

While concerns about the survival of shopping centres grow due to oversupply and challenges brought by e-commerce, Wanda is stepping up investment in the film and cultural industries.

The company announced last week it would invest 50 billion yuan (HK$63.4 billion) to build a cultural tourism project in Guangzhou, which on completion would generate annual revenue of 5 billion yuan.

That was quickly followed by similar mega projects in Qingdao and Wuhan.

The group will celebrate the launch of its Han Show Theatre and Movie Theme Park in Wuhan in December.

Analysts expect the initial public offering of Wanda's commercial property assets, worth 504 billion yuan at the end of June, would come as early as the end of this year, which will help founder Wang Jianlin regain the title of the mainland's richest man.

In the latest Hurun list, Wang and his family were estimated with a fortune of 145 billion yuan, second to e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding founder Jack Ma Yun and his family's 150 billion yuan.

Wanda has two listed arms. Wanda Hotel Development, traded in Hong Kong, is designed to increase hotel investment in foreign gateway cities and has set its footprints in London, Chicago, Madrid and Australia's Gold Coast in the past two years.

Wanda also controls US cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings, which raised about US$332 million in an initial public offering in New York in December last year. Wanda bought AMC for US$2.6 billion in 2012.