China’s Wanda Group Denies Overseas Property Sales But Is ‘Open to Business Opportunities’

November 21, 2017, 9:31 AM UTC

China’s Wanda Hotel Development Co. said on Tuesday it was open to “business opportunities” related to its portfolio of landmark overseas properties, although no sale talks were under way.

The company was responding to a South China Morning Post report last week that the conglomerate was looking to sell $5 billion of overseas property assets to a single buyer.

On Tuesday, Wanda Hotel said it had not entered talks for the assets. It added however that it was undertaking a strategic review of the projects following recent changes in its directors, and that it would “consider any business opportunities which can create value for shareholders.”

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Wanda Hotel’s biggest overseas developments, which mix high-end flats with luxury hotels, include One Nine Elms in London, One Circular Quay in Sydney, a Gold Coast development near Surfers Paradise and Vista Tower in Chicago. All are under development.

Dalian Wanda Group, headed by billionaire magnate Wang Jianlin, has been one of China’s most prolific dealmakers. It controls or owns stakes in U.S. cinema chain AMC as well as Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid.

This year, however, Beijing’s crackdown on showy overseas ventures has drawn in several corporations such as Wanda, HNA Group (HNA-GROUP), Anbang Insurance Group and Fosun International (FOSUF).

That has forced the conglomerates to dial back some of their ambitions. Wanda announced plans earlier this year to sell most of its tourism projects and hotels in China to Sunac China and Guangzhou R&F Properties for about $9 billion.

In August, Wanda Hotel announced plans to swap some assets with its mainland parent.

The deal, worth over $1 billion, included Wanda Hotel taking the equity interest in theme park operator Wanda Culture Travel Innovation and hotel operator Wanda Hotel Management.

The transaction also involved Wanda Hotel selling its interest in the landmark properties to its parent.