Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties, the real estate developer belonging to China’s richest man wang Jianlin, plans a Hong Kong initial public offering this year that could bring in more than $6 billion, according to a report on Friday in the IFR.
The report said that the company, which is a Hong Kong-based unit of Wang’s Dalian Wanda group, plans to file for the offering soon and launch the IPO before the end of 2014.
During the past two years Wang has built an international reputation for his Dalian Wanda group through a series of high profile overseas acquisitions and ambitious domestic plans, which should serve to attract attention to the planned share offering.
China International Capital Corp and HSBC are said to be sponsors of the IPO, with additional bookrunners expected to be added later. Until now, Wang’s Dalian Wanda has been a privately held concern.
Failed in Shanghai, Try Hong Kong
Wanda’s Hong Kong IPO is being projected at a value of $6 billion, which would make the listing the biggest stock market debut since AIA Group raised $20.5 billion on the exchange in 2010, according to figures from Thomson Reuters.
The announcement of the planned Hong Kong listing comes after Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties domestic Chinese affiliate saw its application for an IPO in Shanghai lapse without approval during July.
Also, in June this year, Dalian Wanda’s domestic Chinese movie theatre chain, Wanda Cinema Line Co., was denied approval for a $320 million IPO on the Shenzhen stock exchange listing, after it was said by regulators to have provided insufficient documents for an initial public offering.
Dalian Wanda, which had its start in the same town where fallen political leader Bo Xilai built his political career, has been rumoured to have ties to the former Dalian party secretary’s political machine. During 2014, many of Bo’s former allies, including former politburo member Zhou Yongkang have been swept from power as part of the Xi government’s anti-corruption campaign.
IPO Follows a Campaign of High Profile Deals
During the past two years, Wang has thrust Dalian Wanda onto the international stage through a series of high profile international acquisitions and ambitious project plans. The tycoon was also named as China’s richest man by Forbes last year, with a fortune estimated at $14.8 billion.
Just last month Wang announced plans for a RMB 5 billion ecommerce joint venture with Chinese tech giants Tencent and Baidu, as well as acquiring a $1.2 billion Los Angeles property project. During the same month, Wanda acquired a $1 billion beachfront hotel project in Australia as part of what the company said is a $1.57 billion investment plan for the country.
The former PLA soldier started an overseas buying spree in 2012, when Dalian Wanda acquired North America’s second biggest theater chain, AMC Entertainment, for $800 million in cash as part of a $2.6 billion deal. Besides his real estate deals, Wang also had time for some fun stuff, such as spending $500 million to acquire the UK’s Sunseeker yacht company, and picking up a Picasso for $2.8 million.
Since then Wanda has started building a global hotel chain with projects in London, New York, Chicago and Madrid. Domestically, the company earlier this year announced plans to add 24 new shopping malls within this year, as well as 18 new five-star hotels, in addition to launching a chain of theme parks in China.
According to a company organization chart seen by Mingtiandi earlier this year, Wanda is in the process of building up an 18 person “Overseas Property Centre” to source and manage its overseas acquisitions. Earlier this year Wang declared that Wanda would spend as much as $5 billion in the UK alone on acquiring and developing new real estate projects.