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Dalian Wanda Sells Nine Elms Development At Steep Discount To Valuation

One Nine Elms

Chinese investor and developer Dalian Wanda has sold its major residential and hotel development in Nine Elms at a 25% discount to its valuation as it looks to cut debt following government pressure.

According to a stock exchange filing, two companies in the Wanda group have agreed to sell One Nine Elms to a buyer which Bloomberg named as Chinese developer R&F Properties.

Wanda said it sold its stake in the project for £59M and that the new buyer had taken on a £160M loan secured against it, taking the total recouped to £219M.

It said that as part of the off-market negotiations an external independent valuer had valued the development at £305M, but the price received reflected what it thought it could get for the scheme on the open market given “prevailing market conditions”.

One Nine Elms comprises two towers of 42 and 58 storeys. It will contain 437 luxury apartments and a five-star hotel.

Wanda paid £89M for the site in 2013, Bloomberg said, citing Land Registry documents. It estimated then it would eventually be worth £700M. Earlier this year it awarded a construction contract to Multiplex with the cost of the scheme reported to be between £900M and £1B.

Wanda is one of the high-profile Chinese investors under pressure from regulators to sell overseas assets to reduce debt.

In November it was reported that it was undertaking a strategic review of its U.S. and U.K. development portfolio which could lead to sales.

In August it backed out of a deal to pay £470M for a residential development site close to One Nine Elms. That site was also purchased by R&F, in a joint venture with Cheesegrater buyer CC Land.

Nine Elms is an area where the large number of high-end apartments being built over the next few years has led to fears of an oversupply. Developers, including the company behind the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, have seen returns drop sharply as costs rise and sales values fall.

There are more than 20,000 new homes under construction or with planning permission in the area.