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Hilton CEO Says Waldorf Astoria Is Not For Sale

Anbang acquired the legendary Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York for nearly $2B in 2015.

The CEO of Hilton Worldwide Holdings has denied the rumors Chinese company Anbang Insurance Group is selling off the Waldorf Astoria.

Christopher Nassetta said on a Hilton earnings call that, while it has been reported Anbang is shedding its international assets, “at the moment, the Waldorf is not one of those,” Bloomberg reports. The Hilton manages the property on behalf of Anbang.

The interior of the Waldorf is under “heavy demolition,” Nassetta said, as plans to renovate the famed hotel into mostly luxury condominiums move forward.

Anbang paid $1.9B to Blackstone for the hotel in 2015,as part of an international spending spree. Reports have emerged that Blackstone is considering buying back both the Waldorf and Strategic Hotels & Resorts. The sale was the most ever paid for a U.S. hotel, and, when it was announced, it came to symbolize the Chinese gold rush for foreign real estate that the country is now in the midst of a major backlash from.

The Chinese government is reportedly putting the company under pressure to sell its assets outside of China, although Anbang denies that is the case. Chinese regulators are cracking down on overseas investments, and several companies are now selling their trophy assets.

HNA Group, for example, is selling many of its international assets, including 245 Park Ave., which it bought for $2.2B less than a year ago. Dalian Wanda is selling a global portfolio of major development schemes.