Another Chinese buy as insurer nabs Waldorf-Astoria for $1.9B

Hilton sells iconic hotel to Anbang Insurance Group

Hilton Worldwide Holdings sold the Waldorf Astoria to Anbang Insurance Group for $1.95 billion.

Hilton reached an agreement with the Chinese carrier under which it will continue to operate the famed hotel for the next 100 years. The building will be renovated to “restore the property to its historic grandeur,” according to a press release announcing the sale.

The Waldorf Astoria New York has been the flagship of Hilton’s luxury brand, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, since 2007. The brand includes 27 destinations around the world, with plans to expand to at least nine more cities.

“We are very excited to be entering into this long-term relationship with Anbang, which will ensure that the Waldorf Astoria New York represents the brand’s world-class standards for generations to come,” Christopher Nassetta, president and chief executive officer of Hilton Worldwide, said in the statement. “This relationship represents a unique opportunity for our organizations to work together to finally maximize the full value of this iconic asset on a full city block in midtown Manhattan.”

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With the proceeds from the sale, Hilton plans to buy more hotel assets in the U.S.

According to reports, Chinese companies are the largest foreign investors in New York City real estate. Indeed, a number of large China-backed developers have invested heavily in recent months in New York property.

Insurance carriers were pegged as possibly the next big players to enter the market.

The Waldorf houses restaurants Peacock Alley, Bull and Bear Prime Steakhouse and Oscar’s as well as lounges, bars and the Guerlain Spa.  — Claire Moses