26 October 2016
The Radisson Hotel brand is part of Carlson Hotels Inc. which is being bought by China's HNA Group. Photo: Internet
The Radisson Hotel brand is part of Carlson Hotels Inc. which is being bought by China's HNA Group. Photo: Internet

China’s HNA Group snaps up Radisson Hotel owner

China’s HNA Group Co. has agreed to buy Carlson Hotels Inc. which includes the Radisson and Park Plaza brands, consolidating its assets around its core airline business.

HNA Tourism Group Co. will acquire Carlson and its 51.3 percent stake in Rezidor Hotel Group AB, Carlson’s Brussels-based master licensee for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Bloomberg reports, citing a joint statement by the companies.

The financial terms were not disclosed.

The Chinese group is expected to begin a takeover offer for all of Rezidor, the latest in a wave of investment by mainland companies in overseas hotel properties and brands.

Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group Co. made a surprise US$14 billion bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. in March before walking away unexpectedly three weeks later, enabling Marriott International Inc. to proceed with a takeover.

Had Anbang bought Starwood, it would have been the biggest acquisition of a US company by a Chinese buyer.

In 2015, HNA acquired a 15 percent stake in Red Lion Hotels Corp., an owner of mid-scale and full-service US hotels.

Carlson Hotels has 1,400 properties with more than 220,000 rooms under operation and development in 115 countries and territories.

Besides Radisson, Radisson Blu and Radisson Red, the company owns the Quorvus Collection, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites by Carlson and the Club Carlson frequent-guest program.

HNA ows China’s fourth-largest airline and was also a bidder for London City Airport, losing out to a group led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board.

The combined HNA and Carlson “will have increased ability to accelerate growth through investments in areas such as digital, owned assets in major gateway cities, building of Radisson Red and other new brands,” the companies said in the statement.

Under Swedish takeover rules, HNA Tourism is required to launch a tender offer for the remaining 48.7 percent of Rezidor within four weeks of the transaction being completed, if HNA doesn’t reduce its stake in Rezidor to less than 30 percent before then, according to the statement.

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