Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is to buy Carlson Hotels, owners of brands including Radisson Blu, Radisson Red, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and the Club Carlson loyalty programme.
In a statement Carlson said that “The combination of HNA Tourism Group and Carlson Hotels will have increased ability to accelerate growth through investments in areas such as digital, owned assets in major gateway cities, building of Radisson Red and other new brands”.
The agreement will see HNA acquire all of Carlson Hotels, as well as the group’s 51.3 per cent stake in the Rezidor Hotel Group. Carlson Hotel’s Brussels-based master licensee which has hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Swedish takeover rules mean HNA will be obliged to launch a mandatory public tender offer for the remaining stake in Rezidor Hotel Group within four weeks of the transaction closing, unless its ownership in the group is sold down to below 30 per cent.
Commenting on the acquisition, Diana Nelson, Carlson Board chair said:
“Since my grandfather, Curt Carlson, founded our company in 1938, our family has run businesses that create opportunity for people and positive change in the world.
“Hospitality is in our hearts, which made this a difficult decision. We strongly believe that selling our hotel business to HNA Tourism Group, a company that fully recognizes its value and heritage, is the best way for us to position it for success and to be true to my grandfather’s legacy in the long term.”
Carlson has around 1,400 hotels in operation and under development across 115 countries and territories.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the second half of 2016.
The news follows this month’s shareholder approval for the merger deal between Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts (see news April 11).