Chinese Conglomerate HNA said it paid US$6.5bn for the stake previously owned by Hilton's biggest shareholder Blackstone. Chinese companies have increasingly been investing in tourism-related businesses overseas as more Chinese citizens travel abroad.
This latest move by HNA is part of the group's efforts to become a global tourism business, said the company's chief executive Adam Tan. HNA announced in April that it had agreed to acquire Carlson Hotels, which owns the Radisson and Park Plaza brands.
The tourism, logistics and financial services conglomerate started life in 1993 as a regional airline, but has grown rapidly and now has US$30bn in annual revenues and employs 200,000 people, mainly in North America, Europe and Asia.
It is one of China's biggest tourism companies and has nearly 2,000 hotels worldwide and 1,250 aircraft.
Hilton's 13 brands include Conrad Hotels and Resorts, Curio and Double Tree. It has 4,700 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshares in 104 countries.
We believe this mutually beneficial relationship will open new opportunities for our brands and guests around the world, particularly in light of HNA's strong position in the fast-growing Chinese travel and tourism market, the largest outbound travel and tourism market in the world, said Hilton chief executive Christopher J Nassetta.
Under the deal, HNA cannot reduce its 25% stake over the next two years or increase it without Hilton's permission. The deal, which is expected to go through in early 2017, will cut Blackstone's share in Hilton to 21%.
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