Is Blackstone about to repurchase the Waldorf?
Amidst a crackdown by the Chinese government, the Waldorf might return to American ownership.
Private Equity powerhouse, Blackstone Group, is in the initial talks about bidding to repurchase assets from Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese insurance company. These assets include the Waldorf Astoria and Strategic Hotels & Resorts.
Blackstone had originally sold the famed hotel in 2015 for a sum of $1.95 billion. They later sold Strategic Hotels & Resorts in 2016 for $6.5 billion. Anbang closed on the Waldorf this past Spring and was planning on a $2 billion conversion of 1,000 of the hotel rooms into condos.
Anbang, which claims to have assets of $300 billion, is looking to thin it's American assets from their portfolio in the wake of a crackdown by the Chinese government on foreign investments. Anbang has dealt with a scandalous year with group chairman, Wu Xiaohui, being detained by Chinese authorities in June for questioning. The exact reason is still unknown. The Chinese government looks to broker the deal of these high-profile properties.
The crackdown has also caused HNA Group and Dalian Wanda to put some high value assets on the chopping block. HNA sold record setting townhouse, 19 East 64th Street to Ukrainian-born billionaire, Len Blavantik for $90 million on Wednesday. HNA is also looking to sell off 245 Park Avenue which was purchased from Brookfield for $2.2 billion this past May.