Chinese property developer and multinational conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, owned by billionaire Wang Jianlin, is selling yet another one of its overseas properties in its latest attempt to shed debts. The company, through its subsidiary Wanda Hotel Development, has agreed to sell its majority stake in Chicago's Vista Tower for $270 million.
Wanda Hotel Development, which owns a 90 percent stake in the 101-story supertall skyscraper, signed the deal with Chicago-based release estate firm Magellan Parcel. According to an exchange filing submitted on Thursday, Wanda Groups expects to generate a net gain of around $12.1 million from the deal.
After the deal is completed, Magellan Parcel will take full ownership of the building, which is currently still under construction. The project, which will be a hotel and residential building, is expected to be completed before the year ends. The skyscraper will have a total of 393 high-end condominium units along with 192 hotel rooms.
Wanda Group originally bought its stake in the project back in 2014. The company planned to invest up to $900 million for the complete development of the project. The sale is expected to slightly reduce the company's massive outstanding debts, which totaled about $2.9 billion at the end of March. Its flagship unit, Dalian Wanda Commercial Management Group, is carrying a much larger debt of around $42.63 billion. According to its filing submitted in April, its debt is roughly four times the company's standing cash and cash equivalents.
Following the announcement, Wanda Hotel Development's surged before ending the day at HK$0.32 per share, after a three-day suspension pending the transaction. The share price was hovering around the same level on Friday.
After the conglomerate was placed under a regulatory watch list in China in 2017, the company has been gradually offloading its assets following its years-long debt-driven shopping spree. This included the purchase of various high-profile assets around the world such as luxury hotels, movie studios, office buildings, and even European football clubs.
The sale of the Chicago building is the latest asset liquidation aimed at reducing the company's mounting debts. In March, the company managed to sell its triathlon business, which it purchased for $730 million in 2015. Over the past couple of years, the company also sold several overseas properties, including a luxury development in London, which sold for $81.5 million. The company also sold off its stake in AMC Entertainment, the United States' largest cinema chain, and Spanish football club Atletico Madrid.