Feb 29, 2016
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China's richest man to invest in giant Paris leisure park project

Feb 29, 2016

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin's Dalian Wanda Group will invest in a multi-billion euro retail and leisure project outside Paris, as it seeks to expand around the world, it said on Friday.

The Beijing-based company will invest in Alliages et Territoires, the company overseeing EuropaCity, a 3.1 billion euro ($3.4 billion) leisure park to be built between Paris and Charles de Gaulle airport by 2024, it said in a statement on Friday, confirming what sources had told Reuters earlier.

A rendering of part of the future EuropaCity - EuropaCity

Alliages et Territoires is a unit of Immochan, the property unit of unlisted French supermarket company Auchan, one of the world's largest food retailers.

Wanda is known in China for its mega shopping mall projects, theme parks, luxury hotels and cinemas in more than 100 Chinese cities. It owns Wanda Commercial Properties Co, China's biggest commercial real estate developer.

"For us, it is the most important project outside of China," Wang Jianlin said in the statement, without giving more details on the size of the investment.

Wanda's investment in EuropaCity, its first foray in France, reflects a drive by China's richest man to diversify his business empire and expand outside his home country.

Wanda has a stake in Spain's Atletico Madrid soccer club and last month bought U.S. film studio Legendary Entertainment for about $3.5 billion.

EuropaCity will spread over 80 hectares and include hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and even a snow resort. Construction will begin in 2019.

It is being built at Gonesse, a town 16 kilometers northeast of Paris, between Le Bourget and Charles de Gaulle airports along a planned automatic metro line. It is expected to attract 31 million visitors a year and generate 11,800 jobs in the area.


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