China’s Anbang to acquire Strategic Hotels for $6.5b

Photo: Reuters

China’s Anbang Insurance Group has agreed to acquire Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc for around $6.5 billion, as the owner of New York’s iconic Waldorf Astoria expands its U.S. hotel portfolio, a person briefed on the matter said Saturday.

China’s AnbangInsurance Group has agreed to acquire Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc for around $6.5 billion, as the owner of New York’s iconic Waldorf Astoria expands its U.S. hotel portfolio, a person briefed on the matter said Saturday.

The deal, which illustrates corporate China’s unquenched thirst for U.S real estate, comes just three months after Strategic Hotels’ current owner, private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, took the company private for around $6 billion.

The source asked not to be identified because the deal is not yet public. Anbang and Strategic Hotels did not respond to requests for comment, while Blackstone declined to comment. Bloomberg first reported on the transaction earlier on Saturday.

Strategic Hotels’ properties include the Four Seasons Washington, D.C. on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Westin St. Francis on Union Square in San Francisco and the beach-front Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Orange County, California.

Anbang purchased New York’s Waldorf Astoria from Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc in 2014 for $1.95 billion, one of the highest prices per room ever paid for a U.S. hotel. The deal closed in February 2015 following a review of by U.S. national security watchdog Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

At the time that Blackstone took it private, Strategic Hotels owned 17 hotels operated by top hospitality chains including Hyatt Hotels Corp, InterContinental Hotels Group Plc and Marriott International Inc.

Chinese investment into hotels has been growing since 2011 and 2012, when just $160 million and $130 million were invested, according to data from JLL, a global real estate broker and advisory services company based in Chicago.

In November, Anbang agreed to buy U.S. annuities and life insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life for about $1.57 billion.

The source asked not to be identified because the deal is not yet public. Anbang and Strategic Hotels did not respond to requests for comment, while Blackstone declined to comment. Bloomberg first reported on the transaction earlier on Saturday.

Strategic Hotels’ properties include the Four Seasons Washington, D.C. on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Westin St. Francis on Union Square in San Francisco and the beach-front Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Orange County, California.

Anbang purchased New York’s Waldorf Astoria from Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc in 2014 for $1.95 billion, one of the highest prices per room ever paid for a U.S. hotel. The deal closed in February 2015 following a review of by U.S. national security watchdog Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

At the time that Blackstone took it private, Strategic Hotels owned 17 hotels operated by top hospitality chains including Hyatt Hotels Corp, InterContinental Hotels Group Plc and Marriott International Inc.

Chinese investment into hotels has been growing since 2011 and 2012, when just $160 million and $130 million were invested, according to data from JLL, a global real estate broker and advisory services company based in Chicago.

In November, Anbang agreed to buy U.S. annuities and life insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life for about $1.57 billion.

 

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.