Wanda Group unloads two hotels in Australia

Wanda Hotel Development saw a $55-million jump in gains after selling London-based Wanda International Real Estate.
Jewel Residences and Wanda Vista Hotel, Gold Coast, Australia. Photo Credit: Ridong Group and Wanda Hotel Development

Dalian Wanda Group is selling off its Australian hotel projects to China-backed developer AWH Investment Group in a USD$913 million-deal. Wanda Group will make AUD$315 million from the sale of One Circular Quay—a development with a Wanda Vista hotel, residences and commercial sites in Sydney—and the Jewel resort—a three-tower hotel resort and residences on the Gold Coast.  

The group will fund the sale using equity and assumed debt. Meanwhile, the buyer, a subsidiary of Australian property and investment group Yuhu Group, has agreed to repay AUD$815.1 million of Wanda Group's debt. 

This latest hotel sale from Wanda Group signed on Jan. 18, 2018 follows a list of divestments from the company in the past few months. Wanda Group sold off two assets only a few days ago. The group signed off on the sale of its 40-percent stake in the One Nine Elms hotel project in South West London for about USD$81 million and a 60-percent stake in its London-based Wanda International Real Estate division for USD$49 million. 

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Wanda Group will earn HKD$1.28 billion in total gains after it sells off its London, Sydney and Gold Coast hotel projects. “Consistent with the company’s strategy to deleverage, the company considers that the disposal represents an opportunity for the group to realize its investment in both Gold Coast Project and Sydney Project and would benefit the group by strengthening the liquidity and financial position of the group,” Wanda Hotel Development told Reuters. 

Wanda Hotel plans to use the HKD$4.1 billion in proceeds from the sales pay off loans and interest the company owes Wanda HK. However, the sale is just one step in Wanda Group's process to relieving its debt and meeting its impending repayment deadlines taken on from its major international buying spree over the past few years. 

The group is left to manage its growing debt and sell off many of its overseas assets after Beijing blocked bankers from handing out loans to the company in 2017, preventing Wanda Group from seeking funding for several overseas acquisitions. The Chinese government has been cracking down on what it calls irrational spending in the real estate, hotel, entertainment and sport club sectors, outdated industries and projects in countries without diplomatic relations with China by domestic companies. Wanda Group's asset spread across numerous industries, including real estate, hospitality, entertainment and cinema.