Mega firms targeted by regulators

A newly constructed bridge inside Dalian Wanda Group's Oriental Movie Metropolis project site in Qingdao, China. Led by Mr Wang Jianlin, the conglomerate built theme parks and bought hotels under its cultural tourism project.
A newly constructed bridge inside Dalian Wanda Group's Oriental Movie Metropolis project site in Qingdao, China. Led by Mr Wang Jianlin, the conglomerate built theme parks and bought hotels under its cultural tourism project.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Mr Wang Jianlin, the conglomerate built theme parks and bought hotels under its cultural tourism project.
Mr Wang Jianlin, the conglomerate built theme parks and bought hotels under its cultural tourism project.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Chairman Chen Feng propelled HNA Group onto the world stage through acquisitions, by getting a US$60 billion credit line.
Chairman Chen Feng propelled HNA Group onto the world stage through acquisitions, by getting a US$60 billion credit line.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Chairman Chen Feng propelled HNA Group onto the world stage through acquisitions, by getting a US$60 billion credit line.
Chairman Chen Feng propelled HNA Group onto the world stage through acquisitions, by getting a US$60 billion credit line.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Anbang Insurance Group's headquarters in Beijing. Chairman Wu Xiaohui turned heads when he acquired New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel.
Anbang Insurance Group's headquarters in Beijing. Chairman Wu Xiaohui turned heads when he acquired New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel.PHOTO: REUTERS
Chairman Wu Xiaohui turned heads when he acquired New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel.
Chairman Wu Xiaohui turned heads when he acquired New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel.PHOTO: REUTERS

DALIAN WANDA GROUP

•Run by China's richest man Wang Jianlin, the conglomerate has expanded abroad over the past few years beyond its original property portfolio.

•Over the past few years, Wanda acquired a stake in soccer club Atletico Madrid, bought Hollywood film production firm Legendary Entertainment, and paid for AMC Entertainment Holdings' theatre chains as well as British luxury yacht-maker Sunseeker.

•Under its cultural tourism project, Wanda built theme parks and bought hotels.

•Curbs by government regulators ultimately led to Wanda running short of funds. It has offloaded 91 per cent of its 13 cultural tourism projects, stopped its planned US$1 billion (S$1.36 billion) acquisition of Dick Clark Productions and completed only three theme parks of the planned "15 to 20" to date.

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HNA GROUP

•HNA, one of China's most acquisitive companies, took on at least US$73 billion of debt as it transformed from an obscure regional airline into a worldwide conglomerate.

•The company, which produces US$100 billion in annual revenue, has made multibillion-dollar deals in the United States, Europe and the rest of Asia. It acquired California technology companies Ingram Micro and Swissport and bought large stakes in Hilton Hotels and Deutsche Bank. It also snapped up American hotel chains, golf courses and signature buildings like 245 Park Avenue.

•Chairman Chen Feng propelled the privately held company onto the world stage through acquisitions by getting a US$60 billion line of credit from state-backed banks. His company also tried to raise its profile in the West, hosting a golf tournament in France this year.

•HNA plans to slow its pace of overseas dealmaking after regulators stepped up scrutiny at home.


ANBANG INSURANCE GROUP

•Anbang Insurance Group was the first and arguably the most aggressive company to go on an acquisition spree when regulators announced greater freedom for insurers to invest their income overseas.

•Chairman Wu Xiaohui first turned heads outside China when he acquired New York's iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel in 2014. It was followed by bids for 16 luxury resorts in the US, the Belgian banking operations of Delta Lloyd, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, and South Korean insurer Tongyang Life Insurance. Most bids fell through.

•Regulators targeted Anbang for suspected breaches of anti-money-laundering regulations and its sales practices. It has also faced questions about its shareholding structure.

BLOOMBERG, NYTIMES, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2017, with the headline 'Mega firms targeted by regulators'. Print Edition | Subscribe