Wanda buys realty project for $364m in Madrid

Updated: 2014-06-09 15:17

By Gao Changxin in Shanghai (China Daily USA)

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Conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Corp Ltd announced on Friday the purchase of a landmark commercial project in Madrid for 2.25 billion yuan ($364 million), the latest in a series of high-profile international acquisitions.

Wanda bought the high-rise building from Spanish bank Banco Santander SA, which also has businesses in retail banking, asset management and insurance.

The purchase was conducted through Hong Kong subsidiary Wanda Commercial Properties (Hong Kong) Co Ltd and its Hong Kong-listed arm Wanda Commercial Properties (Group) Co Ltd, which is controlled by Wanda Commercial Properties (Hong Kong) Co Ltd.

The listed company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange that the property will be redeveloped into "a high-end, mixed-use complex comprising residential, hotel and retail" space with a gross floor area of about 83,228 square meters.

The complex will feature a 200-room luxury hotel, retail space and about 300 apartments.

Total funding of HK$3.7 billion ($477 million) has been committed for the development.

Wanda buys realty project for $364m in Madrid

Wanda said in the statement that the property's exceptional location and valuation, combined with the local government's plan to renovate the neighborhood, prompted the purchase.

The Madrid project could be the first of a series of acquisitions that Wanda makes in Europe.

According to the statement, a new entity called Wanda Europe has been created specifically for the acquisition and development of properties in Europe. The new company has funding of HK$12.5 billion.

"The board is of the view that as Continental Europe emerges stronger from the recent financial turbulence and challenges, it presents attractive long-term investment opportunities in the property sector. Such opportunities are in line with the group's strategy of seeking to diversify its sources of income," said Wanda Commercial Properties (Group) Co Ltd in the statement.

The Madrid deal is part of a plan that Chairman Wang Jianlin revealed earlier that involves the establishment of Wanda hotels in 10 major overseas cities over the next eight to 10 years.

Wanda, which has interests in commercial property, luxury hotels, tourism and department stores, has been active in making cross-border deals in recent years.

It has spent more than 50 billion yuan since 2012 on acquisitions. In June last year, Wanda acquired United Kingdom-based yacht builder Sunseeker International Ltd for 320 million pounds ($536 million).

In May 2012, it bought AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc for $2.6 billion, including debt, making it the biggest theater operator in the United States.


(China Daily USA 06/09/2014 page14)