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HNA unit to buy Carlson Hotels at an undisclosed price

(Agencies) Updated: 2016-04-29 07:46

HNA unit to buy Carlson Hotels at an undisclosed price

Chinese employees talk at the stand of HNA during a fair in Tianjin, 28 May 2011.[Photo/IC]

A unit of China's HNA Group Co agreed to buy closely held Carlson Hotels Inc, gaining brands including Radisson and Park Plaza as the global lodging industry consolidates.

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, and may begin a takeover offer for all of Rezidor, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday. Financial terms of the transaction weren't disclosed. Carlson's hotel group could fetch about $2 billion in a sale, people with knowledge of the matter said in March.

The HNA acquisition is part of a wave of Chinese investment in overseas hotel properties and brands. Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group Co made a surprise $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.

"Combining with HNA Group provides Carlson Hotels with financial resources and international breadth and depth to accelerate growth," David Berg, who will stay on as chief executive officer of Carlson's hospitality division, said in an e-mailed statement. Carlson Hotels "has been performing very well", he said. "The larger economics of the industry, though, are changing by the day. The Carlson family believes this decision is the best way to position the business for sustainable long-term success and remain true to the family legacy."

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