China’s withholds plan to buy London property

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Board Chairman and President of Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd Wang Jianlin speaks at the Wanda and AMC press conference at AMC 15 Theatres on September 4, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage)

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda said Tuesday it was abandoning plans to buy a 470 million pound ($606 million) plot of land in London, as Beijing presses companies to halt overseas acquisitions.
A spokesman for Wanda, controlled by one of China’s richest men Wang Jianlin, confirmed its affiliate, International Real Estate Center, would no longer purchase the four-hectare (10-acre) Nine Elms Square site but did not give more details. Britain’s St. Modwen Properties said in June that it had reached a deal with its French partner, Vinci, and Wanda for the sale.
St. Modwen Properties issued a statement on Monday saying its joint venture with Vinci had “successfully completed” the sale, but the communique did not name the buyer. Wanda, a massive group whose holdings range from commercial property to entertainment, sports and theme parks, is among a slew of companies under pressure from Beijing to put the brakes on debt-fuelled overseas investments.
The government laid out new rules on Friday to restrict foreign investments in sports clubs, real estate and entertainment.
Sunac will now only buy a majority stake in the 13 cultural assets, and for a price of 43.8 billion yuan up from 29.58 billion yuan quoted last week.
It was reported in July authorities plan to squeeze Wang’s conglomerate by cutting off new loans and regulatory approvals for deals, in a punishment for breaching restrictions on overseas investments.
The regulatory retaliation marks a major setback for the company that was among the most aggressive players in a flood of acquisitions around the world by Chinese companies. Earlier this month the Hong Kong-listed arm of Wanda announced plans to buy more than $1 billion in assets from firms controlled by Wang as part of a massive shake-up at the conglomerate.


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