Wanda selling global assets amid cash crunch risk

SHANGHAI • Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, faced with a quarter of his US$2 billion (S$2.6 billion) in Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties' overseas debt due in March, is selling off the majority of his global hotel and development projects.

So far, three out of five global Wanda projects under development - in London, Sydney and on Australia's Gold Coast - have reached agreement to be sold or are nearing sale. That would leave just a hotel, office and apartment complex in Chicago and another in California.

Previously, such a repayment of US$510 million worth of bank loans by March 31 would have been a piece of cake for the once-acquisitive tycoon, whose Dalian Wanda Group has gobbled up billions of dollars worth of assets including AMC Entertainment Holdings since 2013. Although the commercial property unit has a lower debt-to-cash ratio than some other comparable developers, most of its money is trapped within mainland China, blocked by the country's exchange controls.

Wanda announced on Tuesday it agreed to sell its landmark London real estate development. The company is also nearing a sale of two projects in Australia that will include luxury condos, hotels and shopping malls upon completion, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Back in July last year, Wanda agreed to sell most of its domestic theme park and hotel assets in China for more than US$9 billion.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2018, with the headline 'Wanda selling global assets amid cash crunch risk'. Print Edition | Subscribe