Wang Jianlin, the founder of Wanda Group, once said he would create a tourism empire so big it would eclipse Walt Disney Co. But it looks like Mickey Mouse might have the last laugh.
China’s second-richest man will sell $9.3 billion worth of Wanda Group’s hotels, land and tourism projects to Sunac China Holdings in China’s biggest property deal. Both sides are planning to sign an agreement before July 31, Bloomberg reported.
The purchase includes 76 of Wanda’s hotels and a 91 percent stake in 13 of its cultural and tourism projects, Bloomberg reported.
The “Wanda City” projects, giant developments with theme parks and lodgings, make up about a third of the sale. It’s unclear which properties other will be passed off to Sunac.
A Beverly Hills subsidiary of Wanda Group is currently developing One Beverly Hills at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard. The project was caught in a two-year battle with developer Beny Alagem, but emerged victorious when the Beverly Hills City Council voted in favor of moving the $1.2 billion project forward in November 2016.
The Sunac deal will help lower Wanda’s debt. It represents a company shift away from developing properties and towards a focus on collecting rent, Bloomberg reported. The sale could also help fund Wanda’s expansion into the entertainment business, which includes its acquisition of Legendary Entertainment and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., Bloomberg reported. [Bloomberg] — Subrina Hudson