Business / Companies

Anbang plans acquisitions around world

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-02-06 07:46

Anbang plans acquisitions around world

Passengers walk past an advertisement for Anbang Insurance Group at a subway station in Shanghai, Oct 18, 2012. [Photo/IC]

CEO Wu also reveals moves to list in many nations over the next decade

Wu Xiaohui, the head of the Chinese firm buying New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel, told Harvard University students of his friendship with Blackstone Group LP Chief Executive Officer Steve Schwarzman, his plans for deals around the globe, and the value of knowing how to say "ni hao."

Little known before last year's deal for the landmark property, Anbang Insurance Group Co has transactions pending in Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa, its Chairman and Chief Executive Wu said in a question-and-answer session at a Jan 31 Harvard recruitment event, according to a transcript posted on the People's Daily website on Wednesday.

Staff members hunting for investments have "accumulated enough mileage to travel to the moon twice," Wu said.

His latest move is in South Korea, where Anbang signed a memorandum of understanding to buy Vogo Fund's 57.5 percent stake in Tongyang Life Insurance Co for 1.1 trillion won ($1 billion), according to a Korea Economic Daily report on Thursday. No comment was immediately available from Vogo or Anbang.

The businessman described Schwarzman as "a good friend", citing the Blackstone head's involvement in financially supporting an institute at Beijing's Tsinghua University that has also received money from Anbang.

The Blackstone-owned Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc is selling the Waldorf to Anbang for $1.95 billion, a deal that received US regulatory approval this month.

Anbang has also attracted attention for becoming the biggest shareholder of China Minsheng Bank Corp, whose president resigned after a media report that he was under investigation. The Beijing-based Anbang is planning an initial public offering that could raise about $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said in November.

The businessman's talk at Harvard spanned topics from his wish for Anbang employees around the world to speak some Chinese - at least "ni hao", the usual Chinese greeting - to his ambitions for the company to within a decade have its own firms on every continent, with listings in many nations.

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