Wanda widens tourism retreat with RM3.8b sale

SHANGHAI • Billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd widened its retreat from tourism and entertainment by handing over the management of 13 theme parks that it sold to Sunac China Holdings Ltd last year.

On Monday, Sunac agreed to pay 6.28 billion yuan (RM3.76 billion) for several Wanda-affiliated companies to improve “management efficiency”, Sunac said.

Wanda is giving up the management rights after agreeing last year to sell a 91% stake in its cultural tourism projects across China to Sunac for 43.8 billion yuan, part of a sweeping asset disposal after the Beijing-based conglomerate fell under government scrutiny for a debtfuelled investment binge.

Wanda, along with other Chinese firms including HNA Group Co Ltd and Anbang Insurance Co Ltd, started selling off assets amid government pressure to stem capital outflow and reduce debt. Since July last year, Wanda has offloaded more than US$11 billion (RM45.98 billion) in assets, according to Bloomberg calculations. That includes the 13 theme parks that were part of Wang’s ambitious drive to unseat Walt Disney Co as the world’s largest entertainment company.

Wanda also said in the statement it would continue to invest in the culture and tourism industry. It has also sold its real estate projects in London and Australia, as well as minority stakes in AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc and Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid. — Bloomberg