Anil Ambani signs partnership with China’s Wanda Group for township & multiplex biz


  • 13 Dec 2012

Anil Ambani’s Reliance ADA Group has signed a multi-partnership deal with Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, straddling the township projects and multiplex business in India and abroad. Dalian Wanda Group is one of the world’s largest real estate developers and with a recent acquisition in the US, it has also become the top multiplex operator globally.

Reliance ADAG has signed an MoU with the Chinese partner for development of realty assets owned by two group companies. These would involve a JV to develop integrated township projects in India including, but not limited to, commercial buildings and residential condos/apartments, hotels, retail space, etc.

These projects would include one located at the Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City complex in Navi Mumbai, owned by Reliance Communications Ltd. It covers an area of approx. 135 acres and has the potential for development of over 10 million sq. ft.


The other project would be at the new business district project in Hyderabad, covering an area of 80 acres. It is owned by Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, having unlimited FSI for development for commercial and residential purposes, hotels, etc., with plans to develop up to 10 million sq. ft. area in a phased manner.

These projects seek to leverage Wanda Group’s position as one of the top real estate developers in the world, having built over 130 million sq. ft. property in 66 integrated projects across 50 cities in China.

Wanda Group also happens to be the leading multiplex player in the world with over 6,000 screens, having acquired the AMC chain in the US at an investment of $ 2.6 billion earlier this year. Big Cinemas, which has lost out its top position in the Indian multiplex business after Inox acquired Fame and PVR recently struck a deal to buy Cinemax, also has a presence in the US.


In line with this trend, Reliance MediaWorks Ltd said that it would also explore possible co-operation in the multiplexes business in India and the US with Wanda Group.

Reliance ADA Group chairman Anil Ambani said, “Over the past few years, Reliance Group has become the single largest trading partner between India and China. We have built strong relationships with a large number of leading corporates, major financial institutions and banks in China. We are now looking forward to extend our strategic partnership to the highly successful and dynamic Wanda Group, in a manner that will tremendously benefit both groups and unlock substantial value for millions of all our stakeholders.”

Dalian Wanda Group was founded in 1988 and operates across five major industries including commercial properties, luxury hotels and department store chains, among other. It has assets of $44 billion, annual income of $23 billion and net profit of $1.6 billion. The company has opened 66 Wanda Plazas, 38 five star hotels and 6,000 cinema screens.


Anil Ambani’s tryst with Chinese partners

In the past, Reliance ADA Group had been active in courting Chinese partners across businesses.

In September, Reliance MediaWorks Ltd, the film and entertainment services arm of Reliance ADA Group, partnered with China’s Galloping Horse America to acquire the business of the US-based Digital Domain and Mothership for $30.2 million. Galloping Horse will hold 70 per cent stake and the rest will be held by Reliance MediaWorks in the Digital Domain joint venture.


In August, Reliance Power joined hands with China Datang Corporation for developing power and energy projects in India and abroad. This is the first such strategic partnership between an Indian company and a Chinese firm in the power sector and comes after a series of financing partnerships between Reliance ADAG (for its various businesses) and Chinese lenders.

Earlier, Reliance Communications (RCOM) refinanced its outstanding foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCB) worth $1.18 billion (Rs 6,125 crore) in one of the largest such deals in India with three Chinese lenders – the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Development Bank (CDB) and Export Import Bank of China.

In March last year, RCOM announced that it had signed final documentation with CDB for Rs 6,000 crore ($1.33 billion at that time) loan facility in the first and largest ever syndicated loan for refinancing spectrum fees.


This looked like a quid-pro-quo deal as earlier, RCOM had also signed an additional agreement for Rs 2,700 crore ($600 million at that time) with CDB for financing imports/domestic expenditure of telecom equipment from Chinese vendors (namely, Huawei and ZTE).

Earlier, Reliance ADAG had also struck an MoU for finance facilities for as much as $12 billion over a period of time for various power projects. Chinese banks are already funding Reliance Power’s Sasan project with over $1 billion in debt.

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