A partnership led by by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s (王健林) Dalian Wanda Group Co (萬達集團) plans to invest more than 3 billion euros (US$3.3 billion) in a retail and leisure development project outside of Paris, taking on Walt Disney Co in the euro area’s second-largest economy.
EuropaCity is to be built 10km northeast of Paris. It will be the biggest single investment project in Europe to date, including a theme park, show stage, hotel, retail stores and conference centers, the company said in a statement.
The project, which spans more than 80 hectares, will also provide about 20,000 jobs during construction and 14,000 after it opens, according to the statement.
For Wanda, which runs theme parks across China, movie theater chains in the US and a soccer club in Spain, the move represents a renewed overseas push, underscoring Wang’s increasingly global ambitions.
The conglomerate agreed last month to buy Godzilla producer Legendary Entertainment for US$3.5 billion, paving the way for the tycoon to become the first Chinese person to control a Hollywood film company.
France-based shopping center developer Immochan is overseeing the project. Immochan is an arm of Groupe Auchan, a family-owned supermarket operator.
Wang is also interested in potentially buying Amaury Sport Organisation, a company that runs cycling’s Tour de France race, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Wang has set his sights on beating Disney in the theme park business.
Last month, he told executives that visitor arrivals and revenue at Wanda’s tourism projects in Wuxi and Guangzhou will beat those of Disneyland in Shanghai and Hong Kong, respectively, according to a transcript of the speech posted on the company’s Web site.
Europacity might add to challenges facing Disneyland Paris, which needed a bailout in 2014 to upgrade its facilities and reverse a slump in attendance.
Already this year, Wanda announced a US$2.3 billion investment in three hospitals, the formation of a financial group and the signing a US$10 billion development deal in India, in addition to the Legendary acquisition. Wanda has said it is planning five major acquisitions this year — three of them overseas.
Wang’s investments in Europe include the Club Atletico de Madrid soccer team and Swiss marketing firm Infront Sports & Media AG.
UNSTABLE? Downplaying geopolitical concerns, Mark Liu said that Taiwan can help usher in a bright, new era for the chip industry with its tech and manufacturing skills There are probably not many people who believe that Taiwan is unstable because of geopolitical factors, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) said yesterday in Taipei in response to comments by Intel’s top executive. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger on Wednesday told the Fortune Brainstorm Tech summit in California that the US government should support a sustainable semiconductor supply chain in the US, in part because “Taiwan is not a stable place.” With China sending 27 military warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on Sunday, Gelsinger asked: Does that “make you more comfortable or less if you’re now
Toyota Motor Corp is to launch an all-electric small sedan in China late next year, having turned to local partner BYD Co (比亞迪) for key technology to finally make an affordable yet roomy runaround, four sources said. Two of the four people with knowledge of the matter described the car as an electric holy grail for Toyota, which has struggled for years to come up with a small electric vehicle (EV) that is competitive on cost in China and does not compromise on comfort. The sources said the breakthrough was chiefly down to BYD’s less bulky lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) Blade batteries and its
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas A/S yesterday said it has invested NT$1 billion (US$36.07 million) in its local supply chain to supply components for its 9.5 megawatt (MW) V174 turbine. The project has helped created 1,500 jobs, including 150 jobs by Vestas itself, Vestas country manager Alex Robertson said. The turbine is to be used in four offshore wind farm projects for a total of 123 wind turbine generators, or 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of total capacity, he said. “This is localization like I’ve never seen before,” Robertson told a media briefing in Taipei. Vestas highlighted 10 Taiwanese supply chain partners that are
Contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科) are optimistic about the “metaverse” concept, expecting it to create major opportunities for the semiconductor industry. At a tech forum last week to commemorate former finance minister K.T. Lee (李國鼎), who has been dubbed the father of Taiwan’s economic miracle and who helped build Taiwan’s semiconductor sector in the second half of the 20th century, TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) said he expects the metaverse to grow quickly in the next decade. Over the next 10 years, data computing power and transmission speeds are forecast to increase