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NEWS
Wanda 'wolf pack' dwindles following US$9.3bn property deal
POSTED 10 Jul 2017 . BY Tom Anstey
After spending a number of years rapidly developing its tourism assets across China in an attempt to become the world’s largest tourism entity, Wanda has taken a step back by selling 91 per cent of its physical assets in a deal worth CN¥63.18bn (US$9.3bn, €8.15bn, £7.22bn).

Wanda chair Wang Jianlin took aim at Disney last year, saying that “one tiger” was “no match for a pack of wolves” as his company was eyeing up the position of the world’s most powerful tourism entity, going as far to say that in the next 10 to 20 years Wanda “must make Disney unprofitable”.

The sale to property developer Sunac China Holdings, which is the second-largest real estate deal in the history of China, has been carried out in order to cut Wanda’s debt pile as it prepares for a mainland listing after delisting from Hong Kong last year, according to Reuters.

The deal includes 13 of Wanda’s cultural tourism projects, mainly comprising theme parks and leisure complexes, as well as 76 hotels, which have also been acquired by the Tianjin-based Sunac. The Wanda City deal is worth CN¥29.58bn (US$4.35bn, €3.81bn, £3.38bn), while the hotels acquisition is worth CN¥33.6bn (US$4.94bn, €4.33bn, £3.84bn).

As part of Wanda’s grand tourism plan, the group says it will build at least 20 cultural tourism enterprises across China, with the company stating that even with its new asset-light strategy “projects will continue to be developed according to the plans and their contents approved by the government”.

According to a joint release by Wanda and Sunac, projects acquired will continue to use the “Wanda Cultural Tourism City” brand, with Wanda remaining responsible for operations management. Additionally Wanda will continue to be responsible for the projects’ design, construction and quality.

Wanda's heavy investment in entertainment, tourism and financial ventures has attracted the attention of Chinese regulators, who last month ordered lenders to assess exposures to overseas deals by four companies, including Wanda, HNA Group, Anbang Insurance and Fosun.

Not only has Wanda earmarked an estimated CN¥300bn (US$44.1bn, €38.67bn, £34.26bn) towards investment in its cultural tourism developments, but it has also been active overseas, with plans for Australian and European investments, also purchasing a controlling stake in films studio Legendary Entertainment and purchasing US cinema operator AMC Entertainment in 2016.

Expert Analysis

Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services (ITPS) and a past president of IAAPA who currently sits on the organisation's Board of Directors, said that during IAAPA's Asia meeting last month Andrew Kam, vice president of Wanda's Cultural Industry Group, did not mention sale plans. Kam, who was brought in by Wanda last year to head up its theme park division instead touted Wanda's ambitious plans for building a theme park empire.

“In my opinion, It takes more than money. It takes creativity, legacy, and true understanding of a very sophisticated industry,” said Spiegel, speaking to Attractions Management.

“What happened to the Wanda 'wolf pack' that was going to 'ravish' Disney? While Disney is somewhat new to China, they are not new to the theme park industry. For the theme park industry, they set the bar for everyone around the world, including Wanda.

“It has not been a secret that Wanda has been languishing under heavy debt for quite some time due to their acquisitive process, and had to take some action to reduce debt load.

"This unforeseen departure from the theme parks and hotels comes as a surprise to most. Andrew Kam is a seasoned, smart executive. It will be interesting to see what he does, and how he reacts.”

The equity transfer affects the following properties:

• Xishuangbanna Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Nanchang Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Hefei Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Harbin Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Wuxi Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Qingdao Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Guangzhou Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Chengdu Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Chongqing Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Guilin Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Jinan Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Kunming Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Haikou Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• 76 hotels including Wanda Realm Beijing and Wanda Reign Wuhan
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Jobs . News . Products . Magazine
NEWS
Wanda 'wolf pack' dwindles following US$9.3bn property deal
POSTED 10 Jul 2017 . BY Tom Anstey
After spending a number of years rapidly developing its tourism assets across China in an attempt to become the world’s largest tourism entity, Wanda has taken a step back by selling 91 per cent of its physical assets in a deal worth CN¥63.18bn (US$9.3bn, €8.15bn, £7.22bn).

Wanda chair Wang Jianlin took aim at Disney last year, saying that “one tiger” was “no match for a pack of wolves” as his company was eyeing up the position of the world’s most powerful tourism entity, going as far to say that in the next 10 to 20 years Wanda “must make Disney unprofitable”.

The sale to property developer Sunac China Holdings, which is the second-largest real estate deal in the history of China, has been carried out in order to cut Wanda’s debt pile as it prepares for a mainland listing after delisting from Hong Kong last year, according to Reuters.

The deal includes 13 of Wanda’s cultural tourism projects, mainly comprising theme parks and leisure complexes, as well as 76 hotels, which have also been acquired by the Tianjin-based Sunac. The Wanda City deal is worth CN¥29.58bn (US$4.35bn, €3.81bn, £3.38bn), while the hotels acquisition is worth CN¥33.6bn (US$4.94bn, €4.33bn, £3.84bn).

As part of Wanda’s grand tourism plan, the group says it will build at least 20 cultural tourism enterprises across China, with the company stating that even with its new asset-light strategy “projects will continue to be developed according to the plans and their contents approved by the government”.

According to a joint release by Wanda and Sunac, projects acquired will continue to use the “Wanda Cultural Tourism City” brand, with Wanda remaining responsible for operations management. Additionally Wanda will continue to be responsible for the projects’ design, construction and quality.

Wanda's heavy investment in entertainment, tourism and financial ventures has attracted the attention of Chinese regulators, who last month ordered lenders to assess exposures to overseas deals by four companies, including Wanda, HNA Group, Anbang Insurance and Fosun.

Not only has Wanda earmarked an estimated CN¥300bn (US$44.1bn, €38.67bn, £34.26bn) towards investment in its cultural tourism developments, but it has also been active overseas, with plans for Australian and European investments, also purchasing a controlling stake in films studio Legendary Entertainment and purchasing US cinema operator AMC Entertainment in 2016.

Expert Analysis

Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services (ITPS) and a past president of IAAPA who currently sits on the organisation's Board of Directors, said that during IAAPA's Asia meeting last month Andrew Kam, vice president of Wanda's Cultural Industry Group, did not mention sale plans. Kam, who was brought in by Wanda last year to head up its theme park division instead touted Wanda's ambitious plans for building a theme park empire.

“In my opinion, It takes more than money. It takes creativity, legacy, and true understanding of a very sophisticated industry,” said Spiegel, speaking to Attractions Management.

“What happened to the Wanda 'wolf pack' that was going to 'ravish' Disney? While Disney is somewhat new to China, they are not new to the theme park industry. For the theme park industry, they set the bar for everyone around the world, including Wanda.

“It has not been a secret that Wanda has been languishing under heavy debt for quite some time due to their acquisitive process, and had to take some action to reduce debt load.

"This unforeseen departure from the theme parks and hotels comes as a surprise to most. Andrew Kam is a seasoned, smart executive. It will be interesting to see what he does, and how he reacts.”

The equity transfer affects the following properties:

• Xishuangbanna Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Nanchang Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Hefei Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Harbin Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Wuxi Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Qingdao Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Guangzhou Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Chengdu Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Chongqing Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Guilin Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Jinan Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Kunming Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• Haikou Wanda Cultural Tourism City
• 76 hotels including Wanda Realm Beijing and Wanda Reign Wuhan
RELATED STORIES
Wanda Hotels & Resorts to open first international Vista hotel, kickstarting global expansion


Wanda Hotels & Resorts will become the first Chinese hotel management company to export one of its brands overseas, following an agreement to open a Wanda Vista property in Istanbul, Turkey.
Wanda recruits Premier Rides to create 'world-first' attraction


Wanda has recruited Premier Rides to create “one of the most cutting-edge attractions ever to be introduced to the theme park industry” – a first-of-its-kind creation representing the company’s most significant investment to date on a single attraction.
Wanda expanding tourism empire with US$30bn investment


Wanda has announced two US$15bn (€14.2bn, £12bn) development projects in China, signalling chair Wang Jianlin’s continued efforts to make Wanda the world’s largest tourism entity by 2020.
Wanda hires former Hong Kong Disneyland head to run theme park division


As Disney and Wanda’s public war for dominance across China continues to rage on, Wanda chair Wang Jianlin has reportedly hired former Disney executive Andrew Kam to lead its charge into the theme park sector.
MORE NEWS
Kew Gardens opens giant natural play zone
Inspired to encourage children to develop a lasting relationship with plants and nature, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London is all set to open its giant new Children’s Garden to the public this weekend (18 May).
IAAPA returns to Shanghai in June with rebranded Asian expo
Formerly the Asian Attractions Expo, (AAE) the newly-rechristened IAAPA Expo Asia (IEA) takes its first steps under its new name from 11-14 June.
17th annual Museums and Heritage awards honour 'innovative and ground-breaking initiatives'
The winners of the Museums + Heritage Awards were announced in London last night (15 May), with museums large and small being honoured and Sir David Attenborough picking up a Special Recognition Award.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' US$162m spy museum opens its doors
The long-awaited International Spy Museum (SPY) – has officially opened to the public in Washington, D.C.
+ More news   
LATEST JOBS
Interpretation and Engagement Manager
Chatsworth House
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Bakewell, UK
Children's Garden Hosts
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Salary: £18,589 per annum pro rata
Job location: Richmond, UK
Duty Manager
Dinotropolis
Salary: £20-£25K depending on experience.
Job location: Dartford, UK
Operations Manager
Wild Life
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Whitsundays QLD, Australia
Head of Central Scheduling and Planning
Merlin Entertainments Group
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Goshen, New York, USA
Strategic Account Sales Manager
Merlin Entertainments Group
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Goshen, New York, USA
+ More jobs  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2019

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