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Dalian Wanda to sell hotels, tourism projects to Sunac for $9.3 billion

  • China's Dalian Wanda said in a statement that it will sell 76 hotels and 13 cultural and tourism tourism projects to Sunac
  • The sale to the Tianjin-based property developer is worth 63.18 billion yuan ($9.29 billion)

China's Dalian Wanda said in a statement that it will sell 76 hotels and 13 cultural and tourism tourism projects to Sunac, a Tianjin-based property developer for 63.18 billion yuan ($9.29 billion).

The transaction will enable the two companies to play to their advantages, the statement added.

Dalian Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin told business magazine Caixin that the proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce Wanda's debt pile and help the company move toward "asset light" operations.

"The group's debt-asset ratio will drop dramatically," Wang told Caixin.

Wang Jianlin, Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group.
ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images
Wang Jianlin, Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group.

The property-to-entertainment group said it will sell 76 of its hotels in China to Sunac for 33.6 billion yuan ($4.94 billion) and 91 percent of its stake in 13 cultural and tourism projects for 29.58 billion yuan ($4.35 billion).

Shares of Wanda Hotel Development spiked over 150 percent on the news and were 74.1 percent higher at HK$1.01 at 1:36 p.m. SIN/HK.

The cultural and tourism projects include theme parks, which Wang appeared to be bullish on last year when competitor Shanghai Disneyland opened.

"At Wanda I always say we want to ensure Disney is not profitable for 10 to 20 years in this business segment in China," Wang told state television station CCTV in May 2016.

In 2015, Wang told CNBC that he is confident Dalian Wanda can defeat Disney and Universal Studios, the latter of which is building a theme park in Beijing.

Despite the impending change in ownership, Dalian Wanda said in its statement it will still manage and operate the theme parks that will also remain under the Wanda brand.

The Wanda hotels to be sold include Beijing Wanda Hotel.

Sunac shares in in Hong Kong were suspended from trade on Monday ahead of an announcement of a "substantial acquisition."

Controlled by Wang, who is one of China's richest men, Dalian Wanda is reportedly one of several large overseas assets buyers that China's banking regulatory is probing. It is China's largest commercial property developer.

Sunac meanwhile is also one of China's largest developers. Founded by billionaire Sun Hongbin, the company has expanded quickly to more than 44 cities in 2016 from four in 2011, according to Bloomberg. Sunac has already made 14 acquisitions this year, excluding the latest one, the news agency added.

Sunac was in the spotlight recently for its $2.2 billion investment into cash-strapped tech company, LeEco, announced in January.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of Universal Studios and CNBC.