China's Dalian Wanda Group acquires 91.81 percent of Sunseeker
Published: Thursday, 20 June 2013
Following weeks of speculation, China’s Dalian Wanda Group has issued a statement saying it has acquired leading UK powerboat builder Sunseeker International in a deal worth £320 million. The sale is expected to close by mid-August. (Previously reported by APB)
Under the terms of the agreement, Wanda will acquire a majority shareholding of 91.81 percent of Sunseeker. Sunseeker management will acquire the remaining 8.19 percent. It will remain a British company, headquartered in Poole, Dorset, and will maintain its existing production bases in the UK along with its current workforce.
“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 in the overall development of our business,” said Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin. “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.”
The existing management at Sunseeker will remain on the Sunseeker Board and Robert Braithwaite, founder of the company, will continue to be involved in the management of the day-to-day business.
“We are thrilled to be joining the Wanda family,” said Stewart McIntyre, Sunseeker’s managing director. “Support from Wanda will help Sunseeker unlock the enormous potential of China’s rapidly expanding luxury yacht market. Combined with Wanda's outstanding track record of entrepreneurship and history of commitment to supporting leading global brands, this investment will provide an excellent foundation for Sunseeker's next phase of growth."
Wanda also announced that the company has reached an agreement with Green Property to develop a real estate project in Central London, which will include the company’s five-star luxury Wanda hotel. It will be the first luxury hotel opened by a Chinese firm overseas.
The Dalian Wanda Group is China’s largest commercial property and entertainment conglomerate, operating in four major industries – commercial properties, luxury hotels, entertainment and tourism, and department store chains. In 2012, the company acquired AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, the second largest movie theatre chain, for US$2.6 billion.
Wanda has previously expressed its intention to develop resort towns in areas like Dalian, Qingdao and Sanya and it is an unstated assumption that Sunseeker will have a strong presence in these areas.