China's Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. has received offers of up to $5.8 billion for its luxury hotel business from a pool of bidders including Blackstone Group LP and Brookfield Asset Management Inc., the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the sales process.
Anbang acquired the portfolio, which formerly traded on the public markets as Strategic Hotels & Resorts, a real estate investment trust, for about $6.5 billion from Blackstone in 2016. Blackstone took Strategic private in late 2015 in an approximately $6 billion transaction. Anbang, which also owns the The Waldorf Astoria-New York hotel, fell under the control of Chinese regulators in 2018 after its founder was jailed on fraud and embezzlement charges.
In all, 17 potential bidders made it to the final round, including Fortress Investment Group LLC, the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd. and South Korea's Mirae Asset Management, the publication reported, citing people familiar with the sales process.
The Strategic portfolio comprises 15 properties, including the JW Marriott Essex House in New York and the Westin in San Francisco. Bank of America is advising Anbang on the sale, which is scheduled for the summer, the Financial Times reported.
The publication reported that some Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds did not participate in the bidding, and there is a gap of more than $1 billion between the highest and lowest bids for the portfolio, which implies widely diverging opinions about the value of the properties and the complexity of the transaction. Executives at Host Hotels & Resorts Inc., another rumored potential buyer, have steadily denied in recent months that they are interested in the portfolio.