China's HNA Group looks to sell Hilton stake

Hilton Istanbul. Photo credit: (c) 2018 Hilton Worldwide

The divestments keep on coming. As Chinese conglomerates continue to drop their western assets in the wake of recent regulations on overseas investment, HNA Group has announced plans to sell some or all of its $6.3-billion stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings. The sale was announced on Thursday through a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The news comes less than a month after the Group sold its 25-percent stake in Hilton Grand Vacations timeshare business for $1.1 billion. Overall, Bloomberg claimed, the shares were sold at 90 percent above what HNA originally paid for them. 

The company also announced plans to sell some or all of its 25-percent stake in Park Hotels & Resorts—reportedly worth another $1.4 billion. The REIT owns 50 hospitality properties in the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

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HNA acquired its stake in Hilton Worldwide from Blackstone Group less than two years ago. The deal allowed HNA to buy up similar stakes in Hilton's Park Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations divisions. Today, HNA owns 26.1 percent of Hilton.

Last year, HNA CEO Adam Tan Xiangdong announced that the group will "listen to orders" and "not invest a cent in areas forbidden by the government. For projects we’ve already invested in–we weren’t stopped at the time of investment but now that the government forbids such investments, we will pull out. For property projects, we will withdraw and hand [the projects] to funds or REITs. I will sell all [overseas] buildings that I have purchased.” 

The company did not release any details on who might buy the shares or when the deal might close.