Dalian Wanda deal: Why is China’s ‘Disney rival’ being sold?
China / July 11, 2017

Three Chinese theme parks, intended to compete with US giant Disney’s ventures in the country, are being sold. The operations are among businesses being offloaded by conglomerate Dalian Wanda in one of China’s biggest ever property deals. Developer Sunac is paying $9.3bn (£7.2bn) for the assets, including the theme parks and 76 hotels. Dalian Wanda has not explained its thinking behind the sale, but the firm is heavily in debt. Some analysts believe that, having delisted from the Hong Kong market last year, a smaller debt pile will strengthen the argument for relisting in mainland China. Dalian Wanda said it was selling 91% of 13 tourism projects, which are typically made up of theme parks and leisure complexes. The sale, which is China’s second biggest property deal ever according to Reuters data, also includes at least nine other theme parks and tourist attractions which are yet to be built. Image captionWanda chief Wang Jianlin: not too keen on Disney’s China presence Sunac’s shares were suspended from trading ahead of what it said would be a “very substantial acquisition” announcement. It did not comment further on the deal. Mickey Mouse craze Last year Disney opened a theme park in Shanghai, its…