Wanda said in talks for back­door list­ing

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS | MARKETS - By BLOOMBERG

Bil­lion­aire Wang Jian­lin’s Dalian Wanda Group Co is in takeover talks with sev­eral can­di­dates to be the con­glom­er­ate’s ve­hi­cle to list its prop­erty unit, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter.

Wanda is still hold­ing talks with other po­ten­tial tar­gets for a back­door list­ing of Dalian Wanda Com­mer­cial Prop­er­ties Co af­ter Shen­zhen-listed Bei­jing Soft Rock In­vest­ment Group Corp dropped out, said the peo­ple, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied be­cause the in­for­ma­tion is pri­vate. The peo­ple de­clined to name the back­door-list­ing can­di­dates and Wanda de­clined to com­ment on any tar­gets.

A back­door list­ing is when a com­pany takes con­trol of a pub­licly traded firm to by­pass the screen­ing process in­volved in an ini­tial public of­fer­ing.

Wang delisted Wanda Com­mer­cial from the Hong Kong Stock Ex­change two months ago as he searches for higher val­u­a­tions in the main­land mar­ket. Still, he’s un­der pres­sure to list the prop­erty com­pany within two years or face hav­ing to re­pay his in­vest­ment part­ners more than $5 bil­lion.

The bil­lion­aire is also fac­ing chal­lenges for the re­lo­ca­tion as there’s a years-long back­log of com­pa­nies seek­ing reg­u­la­tory ap­proval for IPOs in the main­land mar­kets and the stock reg­u­la­tor has re­cently been scru­ti­niz­ing back­door list­ings.

In an­other de­vel­op­ment, Wanda has signed an agree­ment with Shaanxi pro­vin­cial govern­ment to pour 103 bil­lion yuan ($15 bil­lion) in in­vest­ments to build theme parks and com­mer­cial cen­ters there, in­clud­ing a Wanda City com­plex in the cap­i­tal Xi’an, the com­pany said.

Wanda plans to have 15 Wanda City projects across China by 2020, bet­ting on strength in num­bers to be­come the big­gest Chi­nese theme parks op­er­a­tor amid ris­ing com­pe­ti­tion from over­seas.

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