Wanda Hotel sells 90pc of Chicago's Vista Tower project to pay down debt

Business | 30 Jul 2020 10:36 am

Wanda Hotel Development, a unit of Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s business empire, has agreed to sell its 90 percent stake in a Chicago property project for US$270 million to help cut debt, according to a filing, Bloomberg reports. 

Shares surged in Hong Kong.

The subsidiary of Dalian Wanda Group Co., Wang’s retail-to-entertainment conglomerate, will sell its holdings in the hotel-and-residential development known as Vista Tower to its Illinois-based partner, Magellan Parcel C/D LLC, Wanda told the Hong Kong stock exchange Thursday. Magellan owns the remaining 10 percent of the project. The disposal is expected to result in a gain of about HK$94 million (US$12.1 million) before taxes on paper, the company said.

Wanda Group, which once aspired to rival Walt Disney Co. in entertainment, has been offloading assets after a debt-fueled shopping binge between 2012 and 2016 when the group snapped up European football clubs, properties in Beverly Hills and Hollywood studios.

The group’s businesses such as cinemas and theme parks have been particularly challenged this year by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Vista Tower disposal can help Wanda Hotel strengthen its financial position, the company said in the filing. Wanda Hotel’s stock jumped by 43 percent Thursday to 38 Hong Kong cents in resumed trading following a three-day suspension pending the announcement.

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