The Real Deal New York

HNA closes on $2.21B purchase of 245 Park

Deal is just latest in Chinese conglomerate's wild acquisition spree
By Katherine Clarke | May 11, 2017 05:45PM

Chang Feng and 245 Park Avenue

Chinese conglomerate HNA Group closed on its $2.21 billion purchase of 245 Park Avenue, or $1,227 per square foot, records show.

The deal marks one of the biggest prices ever paid for a Manhattan office tower and is an example of how Chinese money continues to play a significant role in the New York market despite increased capital controls at home.

Very few Manhattan properties have ever crossed the $2 billion threshold — the list includes 11 Madison Avenue, 3 Bryant Park and the GM Building at 767 Fifth Avenue.

The Real Deal first reported that the company was in contract to buy the property from Brookfield Property Partners and the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System in March.

The 1.8 million-square-foot building, between East 46th and 47th streets, came on the market in November and drew bids from RXR Realty, Blackstone and L&L Holding, among others, TRD reported.

CBRE’s Darcy Stacom and William Shanahan represented the sellers. Stacom was not immediately available for comment, nor was a spokesperson for HNA.

The Chinese company, which owns 25 percent stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings, has been making a splash in recent months with a series of major cross-sector investments around the world. Among its recent deals, the company, which began as carrier Hainan Airline, recently upped its stake in Deutsche Bank to 9.9 percent.

HNA reportedly financed the deal with a $1.75 billion loan from a consortium of banks led by JPMorgan Chase. Other lenders in the syndicate included Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Natixis and Societe Generale.

Its acquisition spree has led to some speculation that its chairman Chen Feng enjoys a special relationship with the Chinese government, which has enacted strict capital controls on the purchase of foreign assets. China state-backed banks have provided HNA with a $60 billion line of credit, according to public filings obtained by the New York Times.