China fourth richest man bought prime Sydney estate for $415 million

CHINA’S Dalian Wanda Group recently has agreed to buy Gold Fields House, located at Sydney’s iconic Circular Quay, from Blackstone Real Estate Partners VI for about $415 million.

Blackstone acquired Gold Fields House, located in Sydney's central business district and overlooking Sydney Harbour, as part of its purchase of Australian property group Valad in 2011.

The deal is another high-profile acquisition by Chinese developers to expand their presence in the Sydney market, boosted by the demand for CBD locations and upper-end residential spaces.

Wanda is buying the asset from Blackstone’s portfolio company Valad, which was acquired by Blackstone in a public to private transaction in 2011.

As part of the Valad portfolio, Golf Fields House, a 1960s office building, has been repositioned and planning approvals obtained to redevelop into a premium residential development, overlooking Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

“Wanda Group has recognized the iconic location, and intends to create a mixed-use development including a 5-star hotel, luxury residential and retail. We look forward to creating a new Sydney landmark,” Wanda Group said in a statement.

Developer Wanda is backed by China's fourth-richest man Wang Jianlin and last year a group company Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co Ltd raised $3.7 billion through a Hong Kong listing.

The purchase adds to a string of deals as Wanda expands overseas and diversifies away from a weak domestic real estate market. Over the past two years, the company has agreed to invest nearly $2 billion in London and Madrid hotels and properties. ($1 = 1.2676 Australian dollars)

- Source: The Australian, Reuters.com

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