Chi­nese group ac­quires re­sort in west Que­bec

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHENG XIN in Beijing zhengxin@chi­

Ever­grande, a ma­jor Chi­nese real es­tate group, has re­cently pur­chased the Fair­mont Le Château Mon­te­bello re­sort com­plex in west Que­bec.

Ever­grande Real Es­tate Group Ltd., China’s third largest prop­erty de­vel­oper, sees the pur­chase as its first in­vest­ment in Canada, after its ex­pan­sion into soc­cer team own­er­ship and baby for­mula with the pur­chase of New Zealand’s lead­ing dairy pro­ducer Cowala Dairy Limited in early Septem­ber.

The pur­chase is be­lieved to be part of its ef­forts to di­ver­sify its busi­nesses.

The Guangzhou-based prop­erty de­vel­oper has heav­ily re­lied on real es­tate business growth since it was founded in 1997, and has out­lined an am­bi­tious plan to en­ter the con­sumer sec­tor to sus­tain fu­ture de­vel­op­ment while main­tain­ing fu­ture growth, company sources said.

Sit­u­ated be­tween Ot­tawa and Mon­treal, the his­toric log re­sort has been up for sale since this sum­mer by Ox­ford Prop­er­ties, the real es­tate arm of the On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal Em­ploy­ees pen­sion fund.

The ho­tel said op­er­a­tions are to con­tinue as usual for the 350 em­ploy­ees. The fi­nan­cial terms and re­lated de­tails of the sale were not dis­closed.

Mon­te­bello has hosted the world’s lead­ers through­out its his­tory, in­clud­ing the sev­enth G7 sum­mit in 1987, with guests in­clud­ing Pierre Trudeau, Mar­garet Thatcher, Ron­ald Rea­gan and François Mit­ter­rand, along with the aides and se­cu­rity staffs, the North At­lantic Treaty Or­ga­ni­za­tion sum­mit in 1983, and the Tri­lat­eral sum­mit in 2007, when the lead­ers of Canada, Mex­ico and the United States came to­gether for a tri­lat­eral con­fer­ence.

Lo­cated on one of the last sur­viv­ing land grants made by 17th-Cen­tury French kings to early set­tlers of what was then La Nou­velle France, the re­sort is sur­rounded by 26,305 hectares (65,000 acres) of forested wildlife sanc­tu­ary and 70 lakes on the shore of the Ot­tawa River.

Founded in 1997 in Guangzhou, the cap­i­tal of Guang­dong prov­ince, Ever­grande had ini­tially fo­cused on real es­tate, be­fore it be­came known across the coun­try fol­low­ing its in­vest­ment in a Guangzhou-based soc­cer club in 2010.

After launch­ing a bot­tled wa­ter brand late last year, it an­nounced last month it had now es­tab­lished three sub­sidiary food com­pa­nies fo­cused on grain and oil, dairy and an­i­mal hus­bandry.

Xu Wen, vice-pres­i­dent of Ever­grande Group, said ear­lier that part of Ever­grande’s strat­egy is to di­ver­sify its busi­nesses amid a slow­down in the do­mes­tic prop­erty mar­ket.

The prop­erty de­vel­oper has achieved its an­nual sales tar­gets early after post­ing sales of 120.7 bil­lion yuan ($19.6 bil­lion) dur­ing the first 11 months of 2014.

Company data shows that Ever­grande posted sales of 13.41 bil­lion yuan in Novem­ber that pushed the to­tal 2014 sales over the an­nual tar­get of 110 bil­lion yuan, with a year-on-year growth of 22.7 per­cent.

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