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Dalian Wanda buys HK-listed property company

By Wang Ying | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-04-12 16:14

China's Dalian Wanda Group, a conglomerate with interests in property and cinema chains, has inked a deal to become the majority shareholder of a Hong Kong-listed commercial property company, which will become a listing platform for it to expand its financial clout.

Hong Kong-listed Hengli Commercial Properties (Group) Ltd said in a filing on Wednesday with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that it sold 1.8 billion of its shares to Wanda for HK$465.5 million ($60 million), or HK$0.25 per share. In addition, Wanda has to buy HK$209 million worth of the company's convertible bonds.

The deal will make Wanda the largest shareholder of Hengli with a 65 percent stake.

Backed by the news, the share price of Hengli closed higher at HK$1.95 on Wednesday, up 465.22 percent from late February. Insiders said the surge was driven by expectations that Wanda may inject premium assets into the listed platform, although Wanda denied any asset restructuring or injection plans.

Wanda planned to launch an IPO in Hong Kong in 2009, but dropped the plan.

Along with its Hong Kong-listed company acquisition, Wanda Commercial Properties Co Ltd, a major subsidiary of Wanda Group, is still on the waiting list for an A-share market IPO. As of April 3, its application was still at the first stage of examination from the China Securities Regulatory Committee.

Founded in 1988, Wanda is a conglomerate with businesses including commercial property, high-end hotels, cultural tourism and shopping malls. The group's total assets reached 300 billion yuan ($48 billion) in 2012, and its revenue reached 141.7 billion yuan with more than 10 billion yuan in profits. The company is also a major player in the cinema business, with more than 6,000 screens in the world.

The Liaoning province-based group has set itself the goal of having 400 billion yuan in assets and 250 billion yuan in revenue in 2015.

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