Apr 1, 2024 - Business

China's Dalian Wanda sells control of its shopping malls

Illustration of an escalator leading up from a shopping bag. 

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG is leading an $8.3 billion deal for a 60% stake in China's largest shopping mall operator, from Dalian Wanda.

Why it matters: Dalian Wanda is gasping for air beneath its debt burden, and this is one of its largest restructuring efforts so far.

Other investors include CITIC Capital, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Mubadala, and Ares Management.

Catch up quick: PAG in 2021 made a $2.8 billion investment in Dalian Wanda's commercial property services, which included Wanda's promise of repayment plus interest if the unit didn't go public by the end of 2023.

  • That IPO never happened and the firms announced a settlement, but didn't disclose many specifics until now.

Go deeper, via Bloomberg: "Wanda was once seen as one of the few high-quality Chinese issuers in the junk-bond market thanks to its focus on commercial real estate as well as its asset-light property management business. The conglomerate came under pressure after borrowing costs surged and Beijing cracked down on the property sector."

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