The Real Deal New York

After investing $13B, Anbang pauses overseas acquisitions

Chinese insurer bought Waldorf Astoria for $1.95B

September 06, 2016 06:04PM

From left: Waldorf-Astoria and Anbang building

From left: The Waldorf Astoria and Anbang building in Beijing

Anbang Insurance Group plans to take a breather from its acquisition frenzy and play with the $13.5 billion in overseas assets it already has.

Anbang, which acquired the Waldorf Astoria hotel last year for $1.95 billion, told Bloomberg that it’s going focus on its existing companies before seeking out new ones. Since 2014, the Chinese insurer has purchased $13.5 billion in overseas assets, including the $6.5 billion purchase of Strategic Hotels & Resorts.

“We want to build up the existing synergies a bit first, and consider new deals when appropriate opportunities emerge,” Vice Chairman Yao Dafeng told the website. “You can’t just keep buying everyday. You need to also digest and absorb.”

Anbang joins other major Chinese companies in pulling back on foreign acquisitions. The Fosun Group, for instance, announced in August that it plans to sell $6 billion in assets to help boost its credit ratings.

Anbang made headlines last week over its confusing ownership structure. The New York Times reported that Anbang is controlled by a group of companies that are owned by roughly 100 people. Yao told Bloomberg that the report was “not factual” and that Anbang is a “private company that strictly abides by Chinese laws and regulations.” [Bloomberg] — Kathryn Brenzel

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