Jin Jiang deal to acquire France’s Louvre Hotels Group now a go

Jin Jiang's deal to acquire France’s Louvre Hotels Group from Starwood Capital Group is now signed, sealed and delivered.

Hotel Management first reported the proposed deal back in November, citing a Wall Street Journal article.

The deal is now valued between €1.25 billion and €1.5 billion; however, Shanghai's Jin Jiang said the actual consideration of the deal will be in a range of €960 million to €1.21 billion, with plans to fund the purchase via internal resources and bank loans.

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The acquisition will reportedly be completed through Starwood Capital's affiliate Star SDL Investment.

Jin Jiang's relationship with the Louvre Hotels Group dates back to November 2011, when the two established a partnership via a co-branding program to selected hotels in major cities of China and France.

Last August, private equity firm Hony Capital agreed to buy a $246-million stake, or 12.43 percent, in Jin Jiang.

Groupe Du Louvre owns, manages and operates 1,115 hotels in 46 countries around the world, with brands such as Premiere Classe, Campanile, Kyriad and Golden Tulip.

Chinese Investment
This recent deal comes amid a flurry of large acquisitions by China-based companies, including the blockbuster sale of the Waldorf Astoria in New York to Chinese insurer Anbang Insurance Group for close to $2 billion.

Back in November, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide sold the 557-room Sheraton on the Park, in Sydney, Australia, to China's Sunshine Insurance Group Corporation for AUS$463 million, which at the time equated to around US$399 million, or roughly $716,000 per key.

For Starwood Capital's part, while it is selling Jin Jiang, it's picking up another hotel group. Yesterday we reported that the investment group had acquired Scotland's independent hotel group The Town House Collection, a transaction that includes Glasgow's luxury Blythswood Square hotel and boutique Edinburgh hotel The Bonham.

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The two locally owned resorts join the Benchmark Resorts & Hotels brand as a result of the deal.

The combined company now will own and operate a portfolio of 40 hotels totaling more than 5,000 guestrooms.

The global crisis will provide significant merger and acquisition opportunities for hospitality companies willing to take the risk.