Wanda Sells One Beverly Site to Developer Beny Alagem and Cain International

Waldorf-Getty_h 2018Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills-Beny Algem-Publicity-Getty-Inset-H 2018
HUnter Kerheart; Inset: Getty Images

Following a bitter, multimillion-dollar feud that pitted Alagem, who owns the Waldorf-Astoria and Beverly Hilton against the Dalian Wanda Group the Israeli born developer is now in the driver's seat.

When it comes to the saga surrounding the luxury development site known as One Beverly Hills, it appears that Beny Alagem will get the last laugh. 

Alagem announced on Thursday that his firm Alagem CapitalGroup, along with its partner Cain International, have reached an agreement to acquire 9900 Wilshire Boulevard Beverly Hills, the site known as One Beverly Hills. 

The eight-acre property was previously owned by Beijing-based conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, which had battled with Alagem for years over their dueling billion-dollar plans to transform downtown Beverly Hills. The announcement by the new owners comes as a surprise, as it was widely reported that the Canadian developer Triple Five Group was deep in negotiations to purchase the same property, which sits directly next to the Alagem-owned Waldorf Astoria and Beverly Hilton sites. The acquisition of One Beverly Hills gives Alagem and his partner Cain International 17 contiguous acres in the heart of Beverly Hills. In their statement, the new owners did not outline their plans but did say the acquisition presents “a dramatic opportunity to create a unified development.” 

"We are extremely excited to acquire this amazing property. Together with our existing Waldorf Astoria and Beverly Hilton sites, we believe we have one of the most unique and exciting collections of properties in the US, if not the world,” Alagem said in a statement.  

Wanda bought the site, which sits along Santa Monica Boulevard on the lot adjacent to the Beverly Hilton Hotel, for $420 million in 2014. The company then fought hard to win the entitlement to build a $1.2 billion mixed-use development, which was to include 193 condos, a 134-room luxury hotel and high-end commercial offices for top brass. Wanda then still had to overcome bitter objections and lawsuits filed by Alagem, owner of the Beverly Hilton, whom the company ultimately beat in court. It was a nasty and bitter feud between Alagem and Wanda.

But things went south for Wanda and its CEO Wang Jianlin shortly thereafter.  A harsh crackdown by Chinese regulators transformed Wang from an aggressive buyer to a desperate seller. Wanda has since offloaded tens of billions of dollars' worth of assets within China and around the world. But as Wanda’s fortunes soured, Alagem’s appeared to be in ascent.

In August, it was announced that London-based Cain International would invest $345 million into Alagem’s Beverly Hilton and Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. (Disclosure: Eldridge Industries, which owns The Hollywood Reporter is a partner in Cain International.) 

Terms of the deal, which is likely to close later this month, were not disclosed, although a report in The Wall Street Journal pegged the price at around $420 million, which is the same price that Wanda originally paid for the property. The Real Deal reports that it might be closer to $350 million.