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NEWS
Wanda 'wolf pack' dwindles following US$9.3bn property deal
POSTED 10 Jul 2017 . BY Tom Anstey
Wanda chair Wang Jianlin previously made his intentions towards Disney known, promising to surpass it as the world’s largest tourism enterprise by 2020 and stating that "one tiger is no match for a pack of wolves" in reference to his Wanda City plan Credit: Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images
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
Wanda chair Wang Jianlin previously made his intentions towards Disney known, promising to surpass it as the world’s largest tourism enterprise by 2020 and stating that "one tiger is no match for a pack of wolves" in reference to his Wanda City plan Credit: Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images
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.
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WhiteWater was born in 1980 to create places where families unite and make joyful lasting memories [more...]
IAAPA EMEA

IAAPA Expo Europe was established in 2006 and has grown to the largest international conference and [more...]
DJW

David & Lynn Willrich started the Company over thirty years ago, from the Audio Visual Department [more...]
Painting With Light

By combining lighting, video, scenic and architectural elements, sound and special effects we tell s [more...]
+ More profiles  
VIDEO GALLERY

Red Raion - Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue!
It’s extremely important for us to show you the process behind every content we produce. Each of our titles stems from deep research, focused on giving you the kinds of content that best fit your venues and target audience. Find out more...
More videos:
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+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

03-04 Sep 2022

HEALING SUMMIT 2022 - The Healing of Everything

Pine Cliff Resort, Portugal
27-29 Sep 2022

International Congress on Thermal Tourism

Ourense, Ourense, Spain
+ More diary  
 


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