Anbang Group has forged another deal with Blackstone, buying an Amsterdam hotel from the US private equity giant for €350 million ($391.6 million), Dutch real estate news site PropertyNL has reported.
The deal marks Anbang’s latest acquisition from Stephen Schwarzman’s New York-based firm, in a partnership that has seen the controversial Beijing-based company purchase over $9 billion worth of overseas property from the alternative investment firm in less than three years.
Global real estate consultancy CBRE advised Blackstone in the sale of the 557-room DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station, located nearby the main train station in the Dutch capital. Blackstone picked up the hospitality asset as part of the eight-property Mint Hotel portfolio it acquired from Lloyds Banking Group in 2011 for a reported $950 million and later rebranded it with the Hilton marque. The other seven hotels in the portfolio are located in the UK.
Blackstone, which controls the Hilton Worldwide chain of hotels, had rebranded the Amsterdam property, along with the other Mint locations under the Hilton marque shortly after acquiring the group. The US buyout firm sold a roughly 25 percent stake in Hilton to China’s HNA Group last year.
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Founded as an auto insurance company in 2004, Anbang has emerged in recent years as one of the most aggressive Chinese buyers of global real estate, snapping up some $30 billion in property and other assets. By picking up the Amsterdam hotel, the company is apparently following through on chairman and chief executive Wu Xiaohui’s enthusiasm for investments in Europe, while adding to its deal stream with Blackstone.
That relationship started with Anbang’s $1.95 billion 2014 purchase of another hotel from Blackstone – New York’s landmark Waldorf Astoria. Anbang followed that up with an even bigger hospitality deal with Blackstone, acquiring 15 properties of the 16-strong Strategic Hotels & Resorts portfolio in 2016 for approximately $5.5 billion. The Chinese firm then jumped into the European property market, buying a Dutch office portfolio from Blackstone for around €487 million ($546.4 million) in the fourth quarter of last year.
Anbang’s history with Blackstone also includes several failed deals, most notably last year’s abandoned $14 billion bid for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, which was brokered by Blackstone affiliated investment bank PJT Partners. Last November, the Beijing insurer was reported to be in talks with Blackstone to buy up to $2.3 billion worth of Japanese residential assets, but the deal never materialized.