(Yicai Global) July 30 -- In order to reduce the group’s debt and focus on its main business, Wanda Hotel Development, a unit of Beijing-based conglomerate Wanda Group, announced today that the company signed an agreement on July 24 to sell its property project in Chicago for USD270 million. With the sale of the United States project, Wanda Group has cleared up all its overseas real estate assets.
Shares of Wanda Hotel Development [HKG: 0169] surged 77 percent in early trading today, closing up 33.96 percent at HKD0.4 (4.6 US Cents) by midday. They closed at HKD0.33, a 24.53 percent gain.
Wanda Hotel Development’s target company owns a real estate project “Vista Tower” in Chicago, with a planned total floor area of about 176,000 square meters. The project plans to build a 350-meter-high, 93-floor five-star hotel, which will be the third tallest building in Chicago when completed.
Pre-sale of the high-end apartment section of the project began in September 2015 and by the end of December 2017, approximately 56 percent of the total area of sale had been pre-sold. Construction of the main structure is currently under way and it is expected to be completed by 2020.
Wanda Hotel Development said that the sale of the Chicago project, which is still under construction, will help reduce the group’s debts and improve its financial position. In addition, the group will be able to deploy its resources to focus more on the development of the hotel management and operational service business.
The sale is expected to generate revenue of about HKD94 million (USD12.1 million), which will be proportionally split between Wanda Hotel Development and Wanda Group’s Hong Kong business in their 60 percent and 40 percent stake, respectively.
Wang Jianlin, Wanda Group founder and chairman, made it clear at the company’s annual meeting on Jan. 20, 2018, that it will sell its overseas assets and gradually liquidate all its overseas interest-bearing liabilities, after which the company began selling these assets.
Wanda Group previously owned five real-estate projects in the United Kingdom, the US and Australia, which were gradually sold from 2018. Wang has cleared up all his
overseas property projects after selling the Chicago project.
Editor: Peter Thomas