China’s Wanda raising $3 billion ahead of HK IPO for property management unit

© Reuters. A sign of Dalian Wanda Group in China glows during an event announcing strategic partnership between Wanda Group and FIFA in Beijing

By Julie Zhu and Kane Wu

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group aims to raise 20 billion yuan ($3.08 billion) for its commercial property management business, before listing the unit in Hong Kong by year-end, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Wanda is targeting primarily private equity investors for Wanda Light Asset Commercial Management Co, aiming for a valuation of 200 billion yuan, said the people.

Several prospective investors tapped by Wanda and its financial advisors, however, have found that valuation “too high”, one of the people said.

The conglomerate, owned by Wang Jianlin – once China’s richest person – aims to complete the fundraising by July and file for an initial public offering (IPO) in September, they said.

Wanda Group did not respond to a request for comment.

The people declined to be identified as the information is confidential.

Chinese developers and real estate managers raised a record $10.4 billion in Hong Kong listings last year, showed data from Refinitiv.

China Evergrande Group, Sunac China Holdings Ltd and Shimao Group Holdings Ltd all floated property management businesses last year. The three are currently trading way above their IPO prices.

If Wanda sold a 10% stake – as is typical for a sizeable IPO – then a 200 billion yuan valuation would make the float Hong Kong’s biggest for a property manager at least since 2016, surpassing the $1.8 billion November float of Evergrande Property Services Group Ltd.

The listing plan comes after the unit’s debt-laden parent, Wanda Commercial Management Group – China’s biggest commercial property developer – withdrew a domestic IPO application in March, saying it would revamp its assets and pursue an overseas listing.

The unit, tasked with managing 368 Wanda Plazas plus 155 under construction, secured 3 billion yuan of investment from the government of the southern city of Zhuhai, the parent said last month.

One of the sources said the local government would count as a lead investor in the pre-IPO fundraising.

($1 = 6.4984 renminbi)

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