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China’s Wanda Makes $1 Billion Reshuffle of Theme Park, Hotel Assets

Wanda Hotel Development, a Hong Kong-listed unit of China’s entertainment to property giant Dalian Wanda group, is to spend $1 billion to buy theme park and hotel management businesses from other parts of the group. Currently under siege, Dalian Wanda says that the moves will make Wanda Hotel an offshore “strategic platform.”

In a regulatory filing made late at night on Wednesday, Wanda Hotel Development said that it would pay $926 million (RMB6.3 billion) to Dalian Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin’s private company Wanda Culture to buy Wanda Travel. The company is mainly involved in theme park design, construction and operation management.

Wanda Hotel Development will pay a further $110 million (RMB750 million) to another Wang company, Dalian Wanda Commercial, for Wanda Hotel Management. Its business is hotel design, construction and management.

Third, Wanda Hotel Development will sell Wang its interests in four property companies, currently working on developments in London, Chicago, Australia and Guilin, China. The value was not disclosed.

“Wanda Hotel Development will become a strategic platform as Wanda group’s Hong Kong-listed company focusing on theme park and hotel operation and management,” the company said. While it is unclear from the latest filing, that would appear to set Wanda Hotel Development as the company to manage the hotels and theme parks that Dalian Wanda is currently selling off.

In July, Dalian Wanda created a stir by announcing that it would sell its tourism and theme park businesses to another property developer, Sunac, in a bid to slash group borrowings. Under the terms of a revised deal, which also showed that the Qingdao film studios are part of the disposal to Sunac, Dalian Wanda sees itself as retaining a 9% ownership position in the leisure businesses, and a similar stake in a portfolio of 77 hotels that it is proposing to sell to another developer R&F Properties. Despite the proposed change of ownership, the parks and hotels will continue to be branded as Wanda properties.

Wanda Hotel Development’s shares had been suspended on Wednesday. They are expected to resume trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Thursday.

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