China's GreenTree to acquire majority stake in Australia's Argyle

The Argyle Resort Ya'an is scheduled to open in Ya'an, China, in 2021. Photo credit: Argyle Hotel Management Group (Argyle Resort Yaan)

GreenTree Hospitality Group Ltd., a franchised and managed hotel chain in China, has entered into a share purchase agreement to become a major shareholder of Argyle Hotel Management Group (Australia) Pty Ltd., an owner and operator of hotels in China and Southeast Asia. This transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed on or around March 31.

Argyle CEO and founder Kevin Zhang will remain one of the largest shareholders of Argyle and will become part of GreenTree's management team.

"I am very pleased to become part of the GreenTree family," Zhang said in a statement. "GreenTree's proven market leadership, superior technology, strong membership program and powerful development experience will augment Argyle's efforts. This will help us become a world-class luxury to midscale lifestyle hotel brand sector in China and Southeast Asia and bring ultimate value to our property owners, our people and our guests. I am confident that this transaction and our joint cooperation going forward will strengthen both companies' portfolios and operations."

"Argyle's established footprint in China and Southeast Asia is complementary to our chain, and its mid- and upscale brands, with their strong Australian style, will become more popular in China," said Alex Xu, chairman and CEO of GreenTree. "We will support Kevin and his team to further enhance Argyle's successful operations, increase the pace of its expansion to become premier hotel brands in Asia and the world. Overall, we are confident that this acquisition will benefit our shareholders and franchisees and our customers." 

The Argyle hotel network consists of eight midscale and upscale brands: Argyle Grand Hotel, Argyle Boutique Hotel, Argyle Resort, Argyle Hotel, Ausotel and Ausotel Smart, Argyle Suite, Bondi Shack and Argyle Academy, ranging from business hotels to luxury hotels. The majority of these properties are located in Southwest China. 

As of Sept. 30, 2018, GreenTree had 2,558 hotels, of which 2,528 were franchised and managed hotels.