China's HNA Group takes a big position in Red Lion Hotels

HNA Group, a holding company, based in Haikou and Beijing, China, has acquired 15 percent of the outstanding common stock of Red Lion Hotels Corp., after buying 2,987,343 shares of the common stock from Columbia Pacific Opportunity Fund, which will continue to own 12.6 percent.

RLHC now has more than 130 hotels in 31 states. The company is primarily engaged in the franchising, management and ownership of upscale, midscale and economy hotels under the Hotel RL, Red Lion Hotel, Red Lion Inn & Suites, GuestHouse International and Settle Inn brands.

In addition to its long term holdings of RLHC’s common shares, Columbia Pacific Advisors has invested approximately $20 million in the past six months in RLHC-managed hotel assets, including a joint venture in 12 Red Lion hotels alongside Shelbourne Capital LLC and the purchase of the Red Lion Hotel Woodlake in Sacramento. 

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“We believe that HNA, as a major global hospitality company, is an ideal investor for RLHC,” said Alex Washburn, co-founder of Columbia Pacific. “We remain one of the largest shareholders in RLHC and are excited to facilitate bringing this new investor to the company.”

The HNA Group noted that “this investment in RLHC evidences our growing interest in North American hotel brands and real estate. We are excited about the future of our partnership with them.”

Two years ago, HNA Group abandoned plans to purchase luxury hotel chain Amanresorts chain.

As part of HNA Group’s investment in RLHC, the company has agreed to appoint one representative of HNA Group to its Board of Directors following its customary director candidate vetting process.

“We were thrilled to hear of the transaction between Columbia Pacific and HNA Group and welcome the confidence in our company shown by an international hospitality industry leader,” said RLHC President & CEO Greg Mount.



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