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Chinese Billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Wanda Group Sells U.S. Skyscraper Project To Reduce Debt

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Wang Jianlin’s conglomerate is offloading another overseas asset to reduce its debt.

Wanda Hotel Development Co., a Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of Dalian Wanda Group, said in a filing that it has agreed to sell its 90% stake in Vista Tower for $270 million to Magellan Parcel. The Chicago-based real estate company already owns the remaining 10% of the luxury residential and hotel project that will rise 101 floors above downtown Chicago.

The asset sale is expected to give Wanda Hotel Development a net return of HK$94 million ($12.13 million) before taxes, the stock exchange notice says. Wanda acquired its share of the project in 2014.

“As the Chicago property project is still under construction, the disposal will help reduce the current and future indebtedness of the group,” says the company’s filing to the exchange. The group in turn expects to “divert its resources” to hotel development, management and operations among other lines of business.

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Wang, estimated to be worth $14.3 billion, is the founder and chairman of Dalian Wanda Group. He had become China’s richest man at more than twice that amount by arriving early to China’s commercial real estate boom in the 1990s and later transformed the group into a global entertainment empire. Jack Ma, chairman of the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, overtook Wang in 2017.

After making a slew of acquisitions for several years in Europe and the U.S., Wanda has been offloading assets after it was placed on a watch list by regulators in April 2017. He sold his Chinese hotel and tourism assets for over $9 billion in 2017, followed by shedding a stake in the Spanish soccer club Atletico de Madrid and part of a stake in the U.S. movie theater chain AMC a year later. In March, Wanda Sports Group agreed to sell its Ironman triathlon business for $730 million.–Forbes

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