State-owned China outfit in $340M refi on Montage Laguna Beach

Anbang successor Dajia Insurance Group issues CMBS on coastal resort

(Montage Hotels)
(Montage Hotels)

The state-owned successor to one-time high-flying Anbang Insurance Group in China has refinanced the Montage Laguna Beach Hotel.

Dajia Insurance Group lined up $340 million in CMBS debt for the property along Orange County’s coast, according to the Commercial Observer.

Like most hotels, the Montage Laguna Beach Hotel was hit hard by the pandemic, but its net operating income recovered to pre-pandemic levels in the 12 months ending in August. The hotel is managed by Orange County-based Montage International.

Dajia earlier this month refinanced a portfolio of nine hotels with $1.8 billion in debt from Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, a few miles from the Montage in Laguna Beach, was among those nine hotels.

The Chinese government’s China Insurance Security Fund owns 98.9 percent of Dajia. The rest is owned by China Petrochemical and SAIC Motor.

The China Insurance Security Fund put it’s stake in the company up for sale on the Beijing Financial Assets Exchange for the equivalent of $5.18 billion in July.

Anbang got the Montage Laguna Beach Hotel when it purchased the Strategic Hotels & Resorts portfolio from Blackstone for $6.5 billion in 2016.

That was just a year before Chinese regulators went after the company, arresting former chairman Wu Xiaohui and charging him with fundraising fraud and embezzlement.

He was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2018 for perpetrating a $12 billion fraud scheme.

The government took over the company and has sold off assets or otherwise rolled them into Dajia, according to Reuters.

The China Insurance Security Fund announced last year it would sell the company to strategic investors and formally filed to disband.

A handful of potential buyers have dropped out of the running while a consortium led by and Hopu Investment has surfaced with interest in the company, according to the South China Morning Post.

[CO] — Dennis Lynch