By Mirembe Martina
The richest man in China is Wang Jianlin, a real estate mogul.
Jianlin is a singer of Tibetan and Mongolian folk songs at Wanda annual meetings. He was born to a military family and is the oldest of five brothers. His family lived in western China’s Sichuan province, near the border with Tibet. His father fought for Mao Zedong’s Red Army during the Long March campaign in the1930s, and later against the Japanese in World War II.
He joined the People’s Liberation Army as a teenager and served for 16 years before he was honorably discharged as an officer. He got a job at an indebted residential developer affiliated with the Northern port city of Dalian whose name he later changed to Dalian Wanda and became the general manager in 1992.
After that acquisition, Wang went ahead and built 72 shopping centers over the next two decades. He called the shopping centers “Wanda Plazas”. “Chinese consumption, particularly high-end consumption is booming,” Wang told reporters in Beijing in June. He plans to have 110 plazas by 2014.
Wang’s family owns 100 percent of Dalian Wanda directly and through holding company Dalian Hexing Investment Co., the documents show. He owns 98 percent of Dalian Hexing and his son, Wang Sicong, owns 2 percent. The billionaire owns 61.6 percent in his flagship, Dalian Wanda Commercial Property Co. directly and through Dalian Wanda Group, according to the filings.
Dalian Wanda had revenue of $26 billion in the 12 months ending June 30. Commercial property contributed 76 percent of Wanda’s revenue in the first half of 2013, compared with 88percent a year earlier and 91 percent in 2011, according to figures on the company’s website. Wang’s stake in Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co. is valued at $7.4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on the average price-to-earnings multiple of four peers: China Vanke Co., China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd., Long for Properties and Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd.
Wang’s second-largest asset is his 100 percent stake in the Wanda Department Store Co. chain. The company is valued at $5.6billion, according to the Bloomberg ranking, based on the average enterprise value-to-sales and enterprise value-to-Ebitda multiples of Intime Retail Group Co. Ltd., Golden Eagle Retail Group Ltd. and Parkson Retail Group Ltd. The company said it plans to have 120 stores by 2015 from 62 now.