China's Dalian Wanda drops purchase of Nine Elms Square in London

China's Dalian Wanda drops purchase of Nine Elms Square in London”

Billionaire Wang Jianlin's Dalian Wanda Group Co scrapped plans to buy a land plot in London for 470 million pounds (US$606 million), amid the Chinese government's intensifying scrutiny of overseas investments.

Vinci St Modwen (VSM) - the 50/50 joint venture between Vinci PLC and St Modwen properties PLC - has successfully completed on the £470m sale of its interest in the 10-acre site.

The news of Wanda picking up Nine Elms Square comes less than two weeks after Wanda announced a major restructuring that would see Wanda Hotel Development sell almost $4.5 billion in overseas real estate projects to a privately held company controlled by Wang and his family.

China launched a clampdown on capital outflows and overseas direct investment previous year, and Wanda, a property-to-entertainment giant run by one of China's richest men, Wang Jianlin, has been one of the companies most affected. The conglomerate agreed last month to sell most of its hotels and theme parks for $9.5bn.

Photo Construction in the Nine Elms area of London in April.

Beijing issued rules last Friday to limit overseas investment in property, hotels, entertainment, sports clubs and the film industry, and threatened to blacklist firms that violated those rules.

Apart from selling assets, Wang is also overhauling his business empire.

Analysts believe that the asset restructuring could be a prelude to Wanda Group disposing of these overseas properties as developers come under pressure to cut back on overseas acquisitions and trim debt. Wanda plans to invest in a tourism project in the northwestern Chinese city of Lanzhou, Gansu Province, Gansu Daily reported this month.

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