China's Richest Man Focusing on Global Hotels

China's Richest Man Focusing on Global Hotels

Vacation News » Asia Pacific Vacation News Edition | By Francys Vallecillo | September 11, 2013 2:42 PM ET

Wang Jianlin, China's richest man and owner of Dalian Wanda Group, plans to focus on the global hotel business in the near future. 

Dalian Wanda Group, China's largest commercial land developer, wants to build 15 five-star hotels a year, adding to the group's current portfolio of 40 hotels, Mr. Wang told Bloomberg News

"Wanda is looking at hotels as this is an important business, and hotels are the biggest luxury item globally, even bigger and more expensive than yachts and planes," Mr. Wang said.

Ten "major global cities" will be targeted for new hotels, including London and New York, he said. Dalian has hired two investment banks to find hotel management companies to buy, Mr. Wang told Bloomberg.

Dalian has been in talks with "several" companies, Mr. Wang said.

"It's a slow process. Those companies we liked, they might not be willing to sell," Mr. Wang said. "Those willing to be bought, we might sometimes feel the brand isn't as good. For those open to a sale and at the right price, the negotiations can also sometimes be very tough."

Mr. Wang, crowned China's Richest Man by Bloomberg last month, owns 100 percent of Dalian Wanda Group, which develops property and shopping malls, and operates 71 shopping centers called "Wanda Plazas," 38 five-star hotels, cinemas and 57 department stores. 

Last year, the group purchased U.S. cinema operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. for $2.6 billion. The group is currently talking to overseas movie theater chains, Mr. Jianlin told Bloomberg

The group is increasing overseas purchases, a growing trend for Chinese companies as prices rise in China's property market and deals are hard to find. A recent report from Savills showed China's overseas property investment increased 600 percent over the past three years. 

Dalian expects 20 percent of the company's sales will be generated outside China by 2020, Bloomberg reports. In June Dalian made headlines by purchasing a £700 million hotel and residential tower project in London.

Dalian Wanda wants to increase its assets to $64.8 billion and annual income to $40.5 billion by 2015, according to the company website. But Mr. Wang's goals were far more modest when he started the company.

"Then, the thinking was we'd strive for 100 million yuan ($16.3 million) and that would be enough," Mr. Wang told Bloomberg. "My initial thinking was that I would make some money and provide my family with a better life. But as we expanded, the goal kept changing and kept increasing."

Real Estate Listings Showcase

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Read More