Dalian Wanda, the real estate developer belonging to tycoon Wang Jianlin, celebrated the opening of its 100th Wanda Plaza mall on Friday, just in time to help out with the company’s upcoming IPO.
The commercial property firm celebrated the opening of its latest shopping centre, in Xishan, Kunming, by staging a simultaneous promotional campaign across all 100 of its Wanda Plazas nationwide. And the publicity should come in handy as all 100 of those malls, along with an array of additional commercial assets are set to become part of Wanda’s listing as early as the end of this year.
Analysts estimate that the IPO could fetch as much as US$ 6 billion when it lists on the Hong Kong stock exchange. And maybe it will bring back the title of China’s Richest Man to Wang Jianlin, after he lost that crown to Jack Ma following the Alibaba IPO in New York earlier this year.
Kunming Wanda Plaza Covers Both Retail and Office
Like Wanda’s other mall projects, the Kunming shopping centre combines retail with both office and residential space. Covering a gross floor area of 710,000 square metres, the complex includes a mall, a 5-star hotel, two 310 metre-tall office blocks and apartments.
According to a statement from the company, by the end of 2014 Wanda intends to have 109 Wanda Plazas open across China, which it says will make it the world’s second largest commercial property developer.
Building 20 Malls a Year and Looking Overseas
In an interview with the local press, Wang said that Wanda is now opening 20 malls per year in China, and intends to continue to reach overseas for new development opportunities.
In the interview, Wang predicted that by 2020, 20 percent of Wanda’s revenues will come from outside of China. However, he also stressed that the company’s business will continue to branch out from real estate into cultural areas, such as its planned chain of amusement parks.
Hoping to Raise $6 Billion on the Stock Market
It will be Wanda’s shopping centres and hotels, however, which will form the core of its upcoming Hong Kong IPO. At a value estimated between $5 billion and $6 billion it could be Hong Kong’s biggest real estate IPO ever.
Even for a country accustomed to rapid growth, Wanda’s expansion since it entered the commercial property market in 2000 has been nearly supernatural.
In a prospectus issued last month the company said that in addition to its mall projects, it had completed 48 hotels in China, and a total of 178 property projects in 112 cities across 29 provinces in China. The company recorded RMB 87 billion (US$14 billion) of revenue last year, and RMB 25 billion of net profit.
For reasons that remain unclear, Dalian Wanda’s application for an IPO in Shanghai was rejected earlier this year. During 2013 the company had also acquired a Hong Kong-listed firm for a potential reverse merger list, but later shelved that plan.