Wanda Film Holding, the Dalian Wanda subsidiary that operates China’s largest cinema chain, has delayed announcement of its planned reorganization, saying Wednesday that it needed more time to complete all the processes required for restructuring.
The delay in unveiling the reorganization, which had been scheduled for Thursday, comes as parent company Dalian Wanda struggles to deal with a wave of reports suggesting that the Chinese government has clipped its wings. The property-to-entertainment behemoth is selling off its theme parks and dozens of its hotels, and chairman Wang Jianlin has said he will concentrate on investing within China, in line with national policy, rather than aggressively pursue foreign acquisitions.
In a regulatory filing Wednesday, Wanda Film confirmed that its planned overhaul involves substantial restructuring and taking 100% ownership of Wanda Media through a share issue. The document said that the restructuring entails due diligence, auditing, and evaluation of multiple assets, and that these evaluations are ongoing.
Until they are completed, the company will make further progress reports every five days to China’s securities regulators. In the meantime, its shares remain suspended from trading on the Shenzhen stock market, as they have for the past month.
The filing made no mention of Legendary Entertainment, the Hollywood production firm that Dalian Wanda acquired at the beginning of 2016 for a sum of up to $3.5 billion. Legendary has resulted in heavy losses and is expected to be omitted from the Wanda Film revamp. Nor was there reference to further fundraising or share sales, which had been suggested earlier.
The brief filing avoided any reference to the crisis that has engulfed Dalian Wanda and some of its subsidiaries in the month since the Wanda Film restructuring was initiated. In addition to selling off theme parks and hotels to bring down debt levels, the group has been targeted by banking regulators who have ordered state-controlled banks to halt lending to six acquired units within the Dalian Wanda empire. The crackdown is apparently in response to Wanda’s breaching of government-imposed capital controls last year.