Wanda Group's final two international hotel, residential projects up for sale

Vista Tower, Chicago, Ill. Photo Credit: Studio Gang

Dalian Wanda Group has placed its final two overseas developments—Chicago's Vista Tower and the Beverly Hills hotel and residential project—on the market. The two projects total approximately $2.1 billion. 

These are the latest steps in the hotel group's spate of asset disposals in hopes of funding its debt repayment. Wanda Group recently sold its hotel projects in London and Australia in a race to divest assets it acquired in a decade-long buying spree and meet debt repayment deadlines. "If the commercial opportunity arises, the proposed disposal of the Group's project in America, the company has no intention to terminate, downsize and dispose of its existing businesses in China," the company told the Chicago Tribune.

The development sales also follow rising scrutiny from the Chinese government, which last year began censoring what it deemed unnecessary overseas investments from specific leisure sectors, including hospitality. Wanda has been selling off these overseas assets in the cinema, entertainment and hospitality markets ever since the Chinese government blocked domestic banks from funding the groups' international investments.  

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The conglomerate began looking for a single buyer to acquire five of its developments around the world for $5 billion last November. The deal included the Vista Tower residential development in Chicago, which is currently under development. Developer Magellan Development Group is constructing the $900-million residential project, which is expected to be the third-tallest skyscraper in Chicago. Wanda Hotel Development holds a 60-percent stake in the project. “It’s somewhat clear that our partner on the Vista project, the Dalian Wanda Group, wishes to divest its international real estate projects including those in London and Australia," Magellan President David Carlin told the Chicago Tribune. “However, we’ve also been informed that they may remain our partner in Vista to its successful conclusion. Like any responsible and astute corporation, Dalian Wanda is examining its options. In the meantime, the project remains on schedule and fully funded." 
 
Subsidiary Wanda Commercial Properties plans to sell off $5.4 billion of shares to Tencent Holdings, JD.com, Suning and Sunac China Holdings, gaining a 14-percent stake in the unit. The group sold its amusement parks in China and film studio in Qingdao in 2017 while it may continue operating them.

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