Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has agreed to sell a 5.11% stake in an online travel agency for RMB1.18 billion (US$186.12 million) to Overseas Chinese Town (Asia) Holdings Limited ("OTC"), a Chinese developer and operator of commercial properties, including theme parks and malls.
OCT said it has agreed to purchase the stake from Wanda-controlled Suzhou Wancheng, which owns a 13.04% stake in the target company. The target company is a leading Chinese online travel agency, according to OCT’s security filing.
OCT’s target company appears to be Tongcheng-Elong Holdings Limited, as Suzhou Wancheng’s registered address is the Suzhou Tongcheng Travel Building, where Tongcheng is headquartered, according to National Enterprise Credit Information Public System. Also, Beijing Wanda Cultural Industry Group Co., Ltd., the cultural unit of Wanda Group, is listed as a shareholder of Suzhou Wancheng.
In 2015, Tongcheng received RMB6 billion (US$967 million) round of financing led by Wanda Group and participated in by CITIC Capital and existing investor Tencent Holdings Limited. Last December, Tongcheng Network merged with eLong to become Toncheng-Elong Holdings Ltd.
OCT said that online traveling agency has experienced explosive growth in recent years and its target company has grown its daily active users and transaction volume rapidly. The acquisition meets the firm’s investment strategy of new urbanization development, it said.
To reduce debts, Wanda has been selling assets. In February, Wanda announced to sell a combined 12.77% stake in its listed film business Wanda Film for RMB7.8 billion (US$1.24 billion) to Alibaba and a state-owned investment group.