Sunac yesterday halted trading of its shares in Hong Kong pending an announcement of a "very substantial" acquisition, it said.
The CBRC had expressed concerns about the level of debt taken on by some of China's biggest groups, against a background of skyrocketing debt at corporate level. Everything included in the deal is in China. Sunac's stock has soared nearly 130 percent this year.
"Selling assets, which is the last resort for big firms like Wanda, means that Wanda is running out of options to raise fund through normal financing channels", said Ivan Han, Shanghai-based senior analyst with financial information provider Morning Whistle.
Wanda is to use all proceeds from the deal to pay back loans, according to the report, which also cited an interview with Wang.
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Three Chinese theme parks, meant to compete with U.S. giant Disney's ventures in the country, are being sold. Wanda Properties International Co.'s bonds also rose. Wanda has increasingly been recruiting partners for its developments to ease its capital burden. The group's holdings include upcoming London development One Nine Elms.
The 91 percent stake in Wanda cultural and tourism projects, located across the country from the northern city of Harbin to Kunming in the south, will fetch 29.58 billion yuan. Wanda's brand will remain and the group will still manage those projects, according to the statement.
The deal is believed to be part of Wanda's drive to cut its massive debt load and bolster its case with Beijing regulators for an IPO. Wang told Caixin that Wanda would re-invigorate previously stated plans to increase the group's focus on its film, sports, tourism, internet, finance and other ventures, presumably at the expense of its property business.
Sunac's purchase comes amid what Citigroup Inc. predicts will be a "mega-consolidation" in the industry. The price tag for the hotels is 33.6 billion yuan.