Dalian Wanda chairman Wang plans to sell stake to self-owned holding company

Dalian Wanda chairman Wang plans to sell stake to self-owned holding company
Dalian Wanda chairman Wang plans to sell stake to self-owned holding company

Wang Jianlin, the chairman of Chinese property group Dalian Wanda, plans to sell his majority stake in Wanda’s Hong Kong-listed arm to a privately held holding company fully owned by the business tycoon.

The proposed deal would mean the sale of Wang’s 3,055,043,100 shares or 65.04 per cent ownership stake in Wanda Hotel Development to Wanda Investment Holding Company (New Holdco) for HK$1.20 a share, or the equivalent in shares from New Holdco, the Financial Times reported citing a regulatory filing.

The two subsidiaries signed a legally non-binding letter of intent to complete the sale before January 31 of next year, the FT said.

Monday’s announcement is part of an ongoing asset reshuffling between Dalian’s remaining listed arm and Wanda’s unlisted holding companies. 

That reshuffle has decreased the overall transparency of the Wanda empire. 

Wanda Hotel Development has been transformed from a property developer to solely managing and designing Wanda’s tourism and hotel properties in an “asset light” approach the developer has taken to mitigate low property sales. 

The proposed sale could give Wang, the chairman, greater control over another piece of Dalian Wanda’s network of subsidiaries as he centralises assets under New Holdco and unlisted holding company Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties (DWCP). Mr Wang privatised DWCP last year. 

Dalian Wanda was one of the four Chinese companies regulators began probing this year for systemic financial risks after it embarked on an aggressive deal-making spree overseas. 

Wanda also sold its interest in its largest ski resort to a friendly company earlier this year, the FT reported.

The sale, uncovered by a search of corporate records, seems to be an effort by Wanda to rebuild its finances amid government pressure to rein in its dealmaking activities. 

Corporate registry information on the Changbaishan ski resort, in China’s north-west near the North Korean border, was changed in June to show that Dalian Yifang group holds 98.33 per cent of Changbaishan stock and Wanda is no longer on the shareholder list.

The price and the timing were not immediately available. 

Dalian Wanda declined to comment. 

Dalian Wanda have said from time to time they ascertain interest in its property projects. But they deny this week's report by the South China Morning Post that Wanda were offering to sell five of its biggest overseas properties in the UK, US and Australia.

In August the group had to come out and deny rumours they were selling their Gold Coast and Sydney projects, which comprise $2 billion of the $6.6 billion portfolio.

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