China's New West Investment makes New Zealand land splurge

Hilton Queenstown

A Chinese billionaire's $80.5-million purchase of land at the Kawarau Falls complex near Queenstown, New Zealand, has received approval from the country's Overseas Investment Office.

The decision, dated February 10 but publicly released yesterday, gives retrospective consent for New Wish Investment's "acquisition of interests in various mortgages," secured over 2.5 hectares at Kawarau Falls, the Otago Daily Times is reporting.

The complex includes serviced apartments run as Hilton Queenstown and DoubleTree by Hilton.

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New Wish Investment is owned by Jiang Zhaobai (127th on Forbes magazine's China rich list and chairman of Shanghai Pengxin Group) and Jiang Rose.

The OIO's decision said its approval related to New Wish Investment's purchase of interests in up to 100 percent of the securities of Double Excel Investments—which, in turn, owned or controlled interests in various mortgages secured over the land, the paper claims. The decision also noted that the property's owners were in receivership.

In another deal, China's Ming Gu received consent for a $2.3-million land deal at Lake Hawea.

Source: Otago Daily Times

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The transaction, expected to be consummated in the first half of 2020, is still subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions.

The China-based conglomerate also acquired the iconic brand's IP assets as part of the £11 million deal, with the brand expected to live on online.

The sale is the latest step in Park's asset-light strategy.