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China's Richest Man Targeting Luxury US Hotel Chains
Brief:Dalian Wanda plans to build five-star hotels at a rate of 15 per year and in as many as 10 major cities around the world, including London and New York.
Wang Jianlin, owner of commercial land developer Dalian Wanda Group, said this month he hired two investment banks to buy hotel management companies, mostly in the US, where a recovery in travel is boosting lodging demand.

Closely held Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, operator of properties in Manhattan and around the world, would give Mr Wang a high-end, globally-recognised brand.

With few big luxury names officially for sale, he may settle for a compilation of smaller, lifestyle hoteliers such as Morgans Hotel Group, which manages Mondrian and Delano properties.

While Morgans's enterprise value is the most expensive relative to profit among US lodging peers, Dalian Wanda's revenue is forecast to exceed $100bn (€73.8bn) by 2020 and Mr Wang has a net worth of $12.7bn. Mr Wang's ambitions may also lead him to high-end boutique chains Viceroy Group in Los Angeles and Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group of San Francisco.

"It's part of a larger trend," says James Macdonald, Shanghai-based head of China research for Savills estate agents. "Chinese companies are starting to look at diversifying out of China and bringing intelligence and market experience from operating overseas back to the China market.

"It's also about taking experience of the China market overseas to try to get the best of both worlds."

A Beijing-based representative for closely held Dalian Wanda declined to comment on potential takeover targets.

Dalian Wanda plans to build five-star hotels at a rate of 15 per year and in as many as 10 major cities around the world, including London and New York, Mr Wang said at the World Economic Forum in Dalian this month.

The 58-year-old billionaire said he has been in talks with "several" companies in the past year.

independent.ie
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