Chinese commercial property and entertainment conglomerate, Dalian Wanda Group, revealed today that it plans to commence a major investment programme in the UK.
Wanda’s luxury hotel brand is making its first move overseas with a GBP700m development project for a five-star Wanda hotel at a prime location on the South Bank in London. The 160 room hotel will have views overlooking the River Thames and landmarks such as The Palace of Westminster and Battersea Power Station. The total size of the construction project is 105,000 square metres, with approximately 20,000 to be used for the Wanda hotel and 63,000 square metres of premium apartments.
The company has also entered into a definitive agreement with UK luxury motor yacht company Sunseeker International Ltd, which is said to have provided yachts that have featured in James Bond films. Under a total investment deal of GBP320m Wanda will acquire a majority shareholding of 91.81%, while Sunseeker management will acquire the remaining 8.19%. The transaction is expected to be complete by mid-August.
Wanda said it is committed to upholding the values and heritage of the Sunseeker brand and its chairman Wang Jianlin commented: “Acquiring Sunseeker deepens Wanda’s international influence, further enhances our position in the global luxury, entertainment and tourism markets, and represents an important step forward for the overall development of our business. With the committed support of Wanda, Sunseeker is well-placed to take full advantage of opportunities in China, one of the world’s fastest growing luxury yacht markets. We are confident that this will bring Sunseeker’s business to the next level.”
Sunseeker will remain a British company under Wanda ownership. The company will continue to be headquartered in Poole, Dorset and maintain its existing production bases in the UK along with its existing workforce. Robert Braithwaite, the founder of Sunseeker, will continue to be involved in the management of the business and the current management will remain on the Sunseeker Boards.