Date
24 February 2018
The deal will help Wanda Commercial Properties to relieve imminent capital pressure to repay old investors in the buyout fund created for its delisting in 2016. Photo: AFP
The deal will help Wanda Commercial Properties to relieve imminent capital pressure to repay old investors in the buyout fund created for its delisting in 2016. Photo: AFP

Tencent-led group to buy 14% stake in Wanda Commercial

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group said a group of investors led by technology giant Tencent Holdings will buy a 14 percent stake in its debt-laden commercial property arm.

The investors, which also include retailer Suning Commerce Group, e-commerce company JD.com Inc and property developer Sunac China, will buy the stake for 34 billion yuan (US$5.37 billion) in Wanda Commercial Properties  from investors who purchased the interest when the company was delisted from the Hong Kong bourse with a view to relisting “as soon as possible”, Reuters reports.

The deal will help Wanda Commercial to relieve imminent capital pressure to repay old investors in the buyout fund created for the delisting. Those investors were promised up to 12 percent annual interest if Wanda Commercial failed to relist in Shanghai within two years.

The company was delisted in 2016 when Wanda Group took it private with a US$4.4 billion fund while planning to relist in Shanghai in the hope of achieving better share price performance.

Wanda Commercial needs to make a US$510 million payment on a syndicated loan by the end of March. It has a further US$1 billion to repay by the end of May and has US$600 million in offshore notes due in November, according to ratings agencies.

Wanda Group said it will receive HK$10.32 billion (US$1.3 billion) from the disposal of London, Sydney and Gold Coast developments.

After the introduction of the new strategic investors, Wanda Commercial will be renamed Wanda Commercial Management Group and will aim to complete previously earmarked asset sales in the next one to two years, Wanda Group said in a statement.

“Going forward, it will stop engaging in property development and will transform into a company solely focused on commercial management,” Wanda Group said.

Last year Wanda sold a portfolio of domestic hotels and tourism assets, including 13 theme parks, for US$9 billion to Sunac and Guangzhou R&F Properties. Wanda Commercial operated 235 Wanda Plazas in China as of the end of last year.

In a separate statement, Suning said it will contribute 9.5 billion yuan for a 3.91 percent stake in Wanda Commercial.

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RC/CG

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