Although China’s Anbang Insurance and its partners ultimately lost to Marriott in a see-saw bidding battle for control of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, a different Chinese company has succeeded in buying another U.S. lodging giant.
Carlson Worldwide, the Minneapolis-based, privately-held firm that owns both the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Carlson Wagonlit Travel – a leading corporate travel agency group – said it has agreed to sell its hotel operations to China’s HNA Tourism Group, a division of HNA Group Co. – a giant conglomerate with holdings in hospitality, aviation, tourism, finance and online businesses.
The seller’s Carlson Hotels, Inc. unit has a number of brands including Radisson Hotels, Radisson Blu, the new Radisson RED, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, and the Quorvus Collection, along with the Club Carlson rewards program.
The acquisition also includes Carlson Hotels’ 51.3 percent controlling stake in Brussels-based Rezidor Hotels Group, which licenses properties for Carlson Hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
In all, the Carlson group has 1,400 hotels in operation or under development in 115 countries. Since Carlson is privately held, the purchase price was not disclosed.
Carlson said that because the deal will mean a change in control of Rezidor, Swedish takeover rules require that HNA Tourism Group must decide within four weeks of closing either to initiate a public tender offer for the remaining 48.7 percent of Rezidor, or reduce its stake in that company to no more than 30 percent.
The company also said that after the closing, Carlson Hospitality Group CEO David Berg will stay on as CEO of the new combined organization, and that HNA Tourism Group has promised to keep the headquarters of the new organization in Minnetonka, Minnesota.
Berg said the combination of Carlson Hospitality with HNA Tourism “provides tremendous opportunities for growth…As part of HNA Tourism Group, Carlson Hotels will have an opportunity to advance our commitment to providing guests with hospitality worldwide.”
When a Chinese investment group purchased the Waldorf Astoria in New York last year, the U.S. President decided to take his business elsewhere. How do you feel about Chinese ownership of Radisson brand? Please leave your comments below.
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