HNA Group, Dalian Wanda To Sell Off U.S. Assets Following Government Crackdown
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China's HNA Group and Dalian Wanda Group plan to trim their portfolios of overseas assets in response to regulators' foreign investment crackdown, Bloomberg reports.
The companies have been involved in some of the most notable real estate deals in the U.S. HNA purchased 245 Park Ave. from Brookfield for $2.2B and owns a 25% ownership stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. Dalian Wanda, on the other hand, owns a U.S. portfolio that includes luxury apartment project One Beverley Hills, valued at $1.2B, and the Vista Tower hotel and apartment in Chicago, which is estimated to have a value of $900M.
In 2016, Anbang Insurance Group, one of the top Chinese investors in U.S. real estate, was involved in a landmark deal to buy Strategic Hotels & Resorts from Blackstone for $6.5B. The purchase took place while Chinese foreign investment was soaring. It also purchased the Waldorf Astoria for $1.95B in 2015.
But the tables have since turned and HNA now has an estimated $16B in asset sales planned for the first half of 2018 while Wanda has put both its Chicago and Beverley Hills assets up for sale — the disposal of these marking the end of its ownership of overseas assets, Bloomberg reports.
Anbang has yet to announce U.S. asset sales, but was asked by the government in June to sell its foreign investments. The company has come under fire several times in recent months for various scandals. In June, its group chairman, Wu Xiaohui, was detained for questioning by Chinese authorities, though the reasons for the investigation were unknown. Shortly after, the company's head of real estate was instructed to cease work.
Chinese officials cracked down on firms' foreign acquisitions as a way to support the country's currency and minimize risk to China’s financial sector. All foreign transactions are now scrutinized, not just those worth $1B and up.