It’s been a scorcher of a day, and an even hotter week for China, as news broke about several prominent UK investments that will see Chinese firms sink billions into the UK over the next few years.
To find out why this is so significant, read our new feature on how China bought Britain, which details the colossal scope of Chinese investment in British infrastructure and assets.
1) London’s tallest apartment block – £700m
The deal signed today will see a £700m residential skyscraper constructed in Vauxhall. The 60-storey building will have stunning views over London and the penthouse will be so high that occupiers will be able to turn their noses up at the Gherkin.
Prices of the homes have not yet been set but they are likely to range from around £500,000 to more than £3 million. There is expected to be a public area near the top of the building,
The building is part of wider 1.1 million square foot scheme called One Nine Elms, which was previously headed by Irish developers that were forced to relinquish control following the recession.
Chinese developer Dalian Wanda Group will now lead the mass regeneration, set to include a five-star hotel, offices and some affordable homes. It is believed that their flagship shopping malls, “Wanda Plazas” that are extremely popular in China will also be included. Demolition of old tower blocks in the area could start within weeks.
Wanda is China’s largest property developer, with £26bn of assets and annual revenues of close to £15bn. However, its buoyant overseas interest is new and Nine Elms will be its first foreign development project.
London mayor Boris Johnson, described today’s deal as a “cracking” and “another sign of the soaring global confidence in London”.
2) Sunseeker – £320m
The deal has been on the books for a while, but Dalian Wanda Group has also just completed its purchase of Dorset-based luxury yacht maker Sunseeker.
Wanda’s chairman Wang Jianlin has been pretty nonchalant about his company’s takeover of Britain’s biggest superboat firm.
“We wanted to buy 30 Sunseeker yachts because we are planning to build three marinas here in China. So then we thought it would be a better deal if we just bought the company,” he said of the £320m purchase.
The company is now expected to seriously rev up production from 180 yachts a year to 370 yachts, in order to cater for growing Chinese demand.
3) Docklands Office Park – £1bn
This deal has also been in the pipeline for a few months, but Monday marked the official signing of Advanced Business Park’s plans to redevelop the Royal Albert Docks into a £1bn office park project.
This will be the developers first big scheme outside China, with some questions being asked about the company’s ability to carry out the ambitious plan.
Keep your eyes open as more deals may be heading our way. There have been rumours that Dalian Wanda Group is also looking to scoop up the struggling Odeon cinema group. The company has said that it is “in talks over several projects” without specifically naming the UK cinema giant, although last year it did buy up the US cinema chain AMC for £1.7bn.
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