Chinese group buys Strategic Hotels & Resorts
China’s Anbang Insurance Group has agreed to acquire Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc for around US$6.5 billion, as the owner of New York’s iconic Waldorf Astoria expands its US hotel portfolio, Reuters reported.
The deal, which illustrates corporate China’s unquenched thirst for US real estate, comes just three months after Strategic Hotels’ current owner, private equity firm Blackstone Group, took the company private for around US$6 billion.
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 in 2014 for US$1.95 billion, one of the highest prices per room ever paid for a US hotel. The deal closed in February 2015 following a review of by US national security watchdog Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
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 and Marriott International.
Chinese investment into hotels has been growing since 2011 and 2012, when just US$160 million and US$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 US annuities and life insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life for about US$1.57 billion.