Wanda plans to sell Madrid land­mark

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

HONG KONG:

China’s prop­erty-toen­ter­tain­ment con­glom­er­ate Wanda yesterday said it will sell a land­mark build­ing in Madrid for 272 mil­lion eu­ros ($284 mil­lion), due to po­lit­i­cal and mar­ket un­cer­tain­ties in Spain. The 25-storey build­ing, once the tallest in Spain at 117 me­ters, will be sold to Span­ish prop­erty de­vel­oper Baraka Global In­vest­ment, a state­ment re­leased from Wanda’s Hong Kong-listed hos­pi­tal­ity arm said. The dis­posal was due to “the mar­ket and po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment in Spain and the re­sult­ing un­cer­tain­ties on the... de­vel­op­ment po­ten­tial of the Madrid prop­erty project,” Wanda Ho­tel De­vel­op­ment Co. said in the state­ment.

Wanda bought the his­toric Ed­i­fi­cio Es­pana, com­pleted in the 1950s un­der the dic­ta­tor­ship of Gen­eral Francisco Franco, in June 2014 for 265 mil­lion eu­ros ($277 mil­lion). But its plans to de­velop the prop­erty into a ho­tel and shop­ping cen­tre have en­coun­tered hur­dles from the lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

Madrid’s new anti-aus­ter­ity mayor Manuela Car­mena has put in­vestors on edge by vow­ing to sternly scru­ti­nise big build­ing projects ap­proved by the for­mer con­ser­va­tive coun­cil. Ac­cord­ing to Span­ish re­ports, city au­thor­i­ties re­fused to let Wanda, which has been on a high-pro­file over­seas ac­qui­si­tion spree in re­cent years, de­mol­ish the build­ing’s fa­cade be­fore re­con­struct­ing it. The com­pany, owned by China’s rich­est man Wang Jian­lin, burst into the in­ter­na­tional spot­light in 2012 by buy­ing US cin­ema chain AMC En­ter­tain­ment for $2.6 bil­lion. Wang owns more than 200 malls, shop­ping com­plexes and lux­ury ho­tels across China. — AFP

ATHENS: Pen­sion­ers take part in an anti-aus­ter­ity demon­stra­tion in cen­tral Athens.— AFP

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