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China's richest man eyes up €1.2 bn stake in 'Las Vegas of Spain' resort

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China's richest man eyes up €1.2 bn stake in 'Las Vegas of Spain' resort
The resort Marina d'Or. Photo: Diego Tuson/AFP.
12:41 CET+01:00
Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin is negotiating a deal to invest €1.2 billion in the Marina d'Or resort on the Mediterranean coast, left nearly empty amid the financial crisis.

China's official newspaper People's Daily reported on Tuesday that the real estate and cinema mogul is working on the deal to acquire a 75 percent stake in the resort under his company Dalian Wanda.

Wang has already visited the site which has been largely empty and abandoned after its developer went bankrupt during the financial crisis.

A spokesman for the resort complex told El Pais newspaper that negotiations are ongoing with Wang's group Wanda, though at the moment "no deal has been reached".

Tipped to have become the 'Las Vegas of Spain' Marina d'Or's developers had lofty goals to turn the coastal spot into Europe's biggest vacation resort but the collapse of the Spanish real estate market led to a drop off in apartment sales.

The resort town in Oropesa del Mar, north of Valencia, already has five hotels, a spa, a golf course and a theme park.

Dalian Wanda is China's largest real estate developer and the world's largest movie theatre operator. Wang, a former senior member of China's ruling Communist Party, is worth more than $30 billion (€2.83 billion), according to Forbes magazine.

This is certainly not Wang's first business venture in Spain.

In January he bought a 20 percent stake in Atlético Madrid and last summer he purchased a historic Madrid skyscraper, which had stood empty since 2006 a victim of the real estate collapse.

The billionaire has also expressed interest in developing another major project in Madrid worth billions, though talks have been stalled for months, according to El Pais.

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