UPDATE: Anil Ambani's Reliance Group in Alliance With Wanda of China

Date : 12/13/2012 @ 10:22AM
Source : Dow Jones News

UPDATE: Anil Ambani's Reliance Group in Alliance With Wanda of China

(Adds stock prices)

By Dhanya Ann Thoppil

BANGALORE--India's Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Group Thursday said it and privately held conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Corp. of China have entered a long-term real-estate and media partnership.

Reliance Group didn't immediately provide any financial details of the partnership.

Dalian Wanda couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Wanda Group is best known outside China for its $2.6 billion purchase of U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings in May. It also builds shopping malls.

The partners will develop the 54.5-hectare Dhirubhai Ambani Knowledge City complex in Mumbai owned by Reliance Communications Ltd. (532712.BY), Reliance Group said in a statement. As much as 10 million square feet of floor space can be built on the land, the company said.

The real-estate partnership may help the Indian company monetize some of its land holdings and help it with its debt, but not substantially, analysts said Thursday.

Reliance has been trying to sell a stake in telecom unit Reliance Communications.

Reliance Communications, India's third-largest mobile-phone-services provider by customers, has $7 billion in debt.

The partners will also expand a business district owned by Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. (500390.BY) in Hyderabad, south India, the Reliance statement added.

Reliance MediaWorks Ltd. (532399.BY), a large India-based cinema-chain operator, will work with Wanda Group in India and the U.S.

Reliance MediaWorks owns 490 screens in the U.S., India, Malaysia and Nepal as well as a film company.

In July, Reliance MediaWorks said it signed a term sheet with an international private-equity fund to sell a "substantial" minority stake in a unit of the company. There is a 90-day exclusivity clause.

It wasn't immediately clear if this deal has gone through. A spokeswoman for Reliance MediaWorks wasn't immediately available for comment.

Shares of Reliance Communications, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance MediaWorks ended lower Thursday on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Reliance Communications ended 3.4% down at 74.65 rupees, while Reliance Infrastructure fell 2.2% to 514.90 rupees and Reliance MediaWorks dropped 2.8% to 81.30 rupees. The benchmark Sensitive Index ended 0.7% lower.

Write to Dhanya Ann Thoppil at dhanya.thoppil@dowjones.com

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