As the selloff from Chinese firms put under pressure to divest by government regulators continues, Anbang has appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch to sell Strategic Hotels & Resorts.
Anbang has formally commenced the process of selling the company, according to Bloomberg. It paid Blackstone $5.5B for the 15 luxury hotels in 2015. The portfolio includes San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis, Chicago’s Fairmont and New York’s Essex House Hotel. Anbang was one of four Chinese investors subjected to particular scrutiny by Chinese regulators because they went on highly leveraged overseas deal sprees in sectors including real estate. Anbang Chairman Wu Xiaohui was sentenced by a Chinese court to 18 years in prison for fraud and embezzlement. Three of the four investors have been selling real estate to pay back debt and reduce future outlay on development projects. According to The Globe & Mail, Anbang is also in the process of selling the Bentall Centre office complex in Vancouver, which it bought for $730M in 2016. Earlier this year Dalian Wanda sold the New Covent Garden Market and One Nine Elms luxury residential development schemes in London, which had a potential development cost of more than £2B, and in Los Angeles it sold the One Beverly Hills scheme which had a development cost of $1.2B. It is also selling out of the $900M Vista tower in Chicago. Transport and property conglomerate HNA is reported by Chinese news outlet thepaper.cn to be selling assets valued at more than $1.5B, including 30 South Colonnade and 17 Columbus Courtyard in Canary Wharf in London, and stakes in Tishman Speyer development projects The Spiral and The Wheeler in New York. The fourth company, Fosun, has been quiet on the sales front, and in fact has continued buying assets like the offices above London’s Royal Exchange, purchased through Resolution Property, the fund manager it owns. Chinese regulators put broad restrictions in place in 2017 limiting the ability of Chinese investors to buy overseas real estate. Cushman & Wakefield estimates that outbound Chinese investment will drop by 40% to 50% this year compared to 2017.er