Anbang offloads luxury hotels to Korea's Mirae Asset in US$5.8b deal

Business | 11 Sep 2019 12:27 pm

A consortium led by South Korea's Mirae Asset Global Investments said today it agreed to buy 15 hotels in the United States from Chinese troubled insurer Anbang Insurance Group.

Anbang is in the process of selling down its overseas assets, after the Chinese government took control of the conglomerate last year.

The hotels are in U.S. cities including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Mirae Asset Global Investments, an asset management arm of Mirae Asset Group, said in a statement.

Anbang bought the properties’ owner, Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc., from Blackstone Group for about US$5.5 billion in 2016.  

The properties include the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, the JW Marriott Essex House in New York and the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Separately, Anbang still owns the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan from a US$1.95 billion deal in 2015.

"The size of the deal is about US$5.8 billion and the deal is expected to be closed by end of January next year," a source with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters. Anbang has been one of China's most acquisitive companies, signing over US$30 billion of deals in recent years.

But in February last year, the Chinese government took control over the firm, part of a campaign to reduce financial risk. Anbang's former chairman, Wu Xiaohu, was later sentenced to 18 years in prison for fraud and embezzlement.

Anbang put its US$2.4 billion property portfolio in Japan up for sale in August.

South Korea's financial group Mirae Asset has invested aggressively in overseas real estate in the last two years. It jointly bought a skyscraper office tower in Paris in July.-Reuters/Bloomberg 

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