Anbang to buy 16 hotels from Blackstone for $6.5B

Strategic Hotels portfolio includes JW Marriott Essex House

Jonathan Gray, JW Marriot Essex House at 160 Central Park South and Anbang's Wu Xiaohui
Jonathan Gray, JW Marriot Essex House at 160 Central Park South and Anbang's Wu Xiaohui

Anbang Insurance Group is vastly expanding its U.S. hotel presence.

The Beijing-based insurance giant will pay the Blackstone Group $6.5 billion for the Strategic Hotels & Resorts portfolio, 16 U.S. hotels in all, including the JW Marriott Essex House at 160 Central Park South.

The deal is the biggest real estate purchase by a Chinese company in the U.S. to date, Bloomberg reported.

Blackstone acquired the portfolio just a few months ago, when it paid $6 billion for Strategic Hotels & Resorts late last year.

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“It’s a great long-term play for Anbang and a good short-term move by Blackstone,’’ Sonny Kalsi, founder of private equity firm GreenOak Real Estate, told Bloomberg. “A true win-win.”

The portfolio also includes the Four Seasons hotels and resorts in Silicon Valley, Washington and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as well as the Intercontinental hotels in Chicago and Miami.

Anbang went into contract for the iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel back in 2014 for $1.95 billion and closed in early 2015. The Real Deal in March 2015 reported a blow-by-blow account on how the deal was struck. [Bloomberg]Ariel Stulberg