Chinese real estate giant Dalian Wanda Group is set to invest $1 billion in a development of a prime site near Sydney Harbour in Australia, diversifying on assets away from its home market.
Hong Kong-listed Dalian Wanda will buy the landmark Gold Fields House, an office building from US private equity firm Blackstone-owned Valad Property for approximately A$415 million ($327 million) for redevelopment.
The building is located in Sydney's prime central business district and overlooks the harbour. Dalian Wanda will also buy an adjacent building Fairfax House for about A$73 million and could also be consider buying some other nearby properties.
The Chinese group plans to build a luxury hotel as well as residential and retail outlets in this area.
''Wanda Group has recognised the iconic location, and intends to create a mixed-use development, including a 5-star hotel, luxury residential and retail,'' Wanda Group said in a statement yesterday.
''We look forward to creating a new Sydney landmark,'' it said.
The complex will include a 185-meter tall building.
Wanda group is China's biggest commercial real estate conglomerate with businesses in real estate, tourism, hotels and entertainment. It is controlled by China's fourth-richest man Wang Jianlin who is worth $13.2 billion, according to Forbe's October list.
Several other developers including AMP Capital, Stamford Land Corp and Mirvac Group are going ahead with massive redevelopment projects in the entire harbour-side areas in Sydney.
The deal underscores China's growing interest for Australia's lucrative property assets. Wanda group is already backing a $900-million luxury hotel complex and residential apartments on the Gold Coast.
The Chinese builder has been on an acquisition spree in recent years. It has agreed to invest nearly $2 billion in London and Madrid hotels and properties in the last two years.
Last week, Wanda agreed to buy a 20-per cent stake for $52 million in Spanish football club Athletico Madrid, making a debut by any Chinese company to invest in a top European football club.
Dalian Wanda had said that it plans to build at least 15 luxury hotels worldwide by 2020.
The group acquired US-based AMC entertainment Holdings in 2012 becoming the world's biggest operator of movie theatres and in 2013, it bought British property assets including yacht builder Sunseeker International.
Further to the news, shares in Dalian Wanda moved up 3.5 per cent yesterday in Hong Kong.