Cash-starved Chinese property group Dalian Wanda sells Shanghai luxury hotel to Indonesian billionaire

Cash-starved Chinese property group Dalian Wanda sells Shanghai luxury hotel to Indonesian billionaire

Cash-starved Chinese property group Dalian Wanda sells Shanghai luxury hotel to Indonesian billionaire

The cash-strapped Dalian Wanda Group, a major Chinese conglomerate and the country’s largest shopping mall operator, has sold its luxury hotel in Shanghai to Indonesian pulp and paper billionaire Sukanto Tanoto as it looks to overcome a liquidity crisis.

The 193-room luxury hotel, opened in June 2016, is located in Shanghai’s famed Bund waterfront and was acquired last month by Singapore-based Pacific Eagle Real Estate, the property investment and development arm of Tanoto’s conglomerate, RGE Group.

“As a long-term investor, Pacific Eagle Real Estate is acquiring Shanghai Wanda Reign on the Bund Hotel for capital preservation,” a Pacific Eagle Real Estate spokesperson said.

While the acquisition price was undisclosed, media outlet Mingtiandi quoted market sources saying it had changed hands at a price of between 1.44 billion and 1.66 billion yuan (US$204 million and US$234 million).

A picture of Sukanto Tanoto. Photo: Facebook/ Sukanto Tanoto
Wanda Reign will be Pacific Eagle’s second hotel investment after the 304-room Mondrian Duxton in Singapore, inaugurated last July. With this acquisition, the company now owns four assets in China, including residential developments and an office tower.

The Wanda brand will be retained following the sale, and the hotel will continue to be managed by Dalian Wanda’s hotel division, according to local media.

Wanda Group raises funds from stake sale in unit as US$400 million bond matures

Last month, the Indonesian tycoon offered to buy out Vinda International Holdings in a deal valued at HK$26.1 billion (US$3.3 billion) to further diversify its resource-based businesses, which straddle markets from China to Spain to Brazil.

Tanoto’s family office, that supervises his core business, has been on a shopping spree to expand its property investments, at a time when Dalian Wanda, controlled by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, has been selling assets to repay its debts.

The conglomerate has been grappling with a liquidity crunch over the past two years. In July, it warned of a funding shortfall just days before redeeming a US$400 million bond.

Chinese media outlet Caixin reported on Tuesday that Dalian Wanda Commercial Management Group, a property management subsidiary of Dalian Wanda Group, sold four more of its flagship Wanda Plaza commercial complexes in Suzhou, Huzhou, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

In November, group company Wanda Properties sought to extend the maturity of a US$600 million bond due in January 2024 by 11 months as the company struggled to fund the repayment. Bondholders have since consented, agreeing to an instalment payback plan.

In December, Wang agreed to sell a 51 per cent stake in Beijing Wanda Investment, which controls Wanda Film Holding, to Tencent-backed China Ruyi Holdings. He had earlier sold a 49 per cent stake in July to help repay US$400 million worth of maturing bonds.

China’s real estate industry, including the commercial property management sector and related sectors, have been affected by an economic slowdown, fluctuations in the financial markets and other adverse market conditions, hurting the group’s businesses and cash flows, Dalian Wanda said in a statement last year.

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