China's Richest Man Eyes More Madrid Investment

Not content with owning a 20 percent stake in Spanish La Liga club Atletico de Madrid via Wanda Madrid Investment and having purchased the 117-meter Edificio España building on the Spanish capital's Plaza de Espana from Santander in a deal worth €265 million in 2014, Wang Jianling is again looking to invest in Madrid.

Wanda has "expressed its intention to carry out a third big project in Madrid," the leader of the Socialist Party group in the council, Antonio Miguel Carmona recently told a news conference. The new investment could be up to 10 times larger than the €265 million Wanda paid last year for the historic Madrid skyscraper.

Madrid's new anti-austerity mayor Manuela Carmena has put investors on edge by vowing to sternly scrutinise big building projects approved by the former conservative council. Leader of a group born out of Spain's "Outraged" protest movement, the 71-year-old former judge Carmena clinched control of the city hall with Carmona's support after last month's elections.

Carmona said he met last Thursday with top Wanda executive Michael Qiao after the Chinese group contacted him to express its "concern for its investment" under the new mayor.

He said Wanda and the council had set up a commission to discuss the development and will consult citizens and environmental groups. Wanda reportedly wants to turn the Edificio España into a hotel and shopping centre. The commission will apparently discuss how "to save Wanda's big investment in Madrid on condition that the project benefit the citizens and not cost city hall a single euro," Carmona said.





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