Metropark takes con­trol of UK’s Kew GreenHo­tels

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - ByWANGWEN wang­wen@chi­

Kew GreenHo­tels Ltd, the United King­dom-based ho­tel man­age­ment com­pany, has been ac­quired by Chi­nese ho­tel com­pany HK CTS Metropark Ho­tels Com­pany Ltd for an undis­closed price.

HK CTSMetropark, a sub­sidiary of Hong Kong-based China Na­tional Travel Ser­vice (HK) Group Cor­po­ra­tion, said on Tues­day that it pur­chased all the is­sued shares of Kew Green Ho­tels Ltd from Gold­man Sachs and TPG Spe­cial Sit­u­a­tions Part­ners, which had owned the UK group since 2013.

This is not the first time that HK CTS Metropark Ho­tels is go­ing global. In 2014, the com­pany signed an agree­ment to man­age the first five-star ho­tel in the Re­pub­lic of Guinea with 331 rooms and 40 apart­ments.

Sun Wu, gen­eral man­ager ofHKCTSMetroparkHo­tels, said the pur­chase will pro­vide a strate­gic growth plat­form for the com­pany within theUKand across Europe.

“It is also a solid step for the go­ing global strat­egy of HK CTS Metropark Ho­tels,” Sun said.

The Chi­nese com­pany chose to pur­chase the UK ho­tel man­age­ment firm for the good tourism en­vi­ron­ment in the coun­try.

Europe, in­clud­ing the UK, is al­ready an im­por­tant tourism des­ti­na­tion for global trav­el­ers, said Xu Muhan, chair­man of HK CTS MetroparkHo­tels.

China’s boom­ing out­bound tourism mar­ket has been one of the main rea­sons why Chi­nese com­pa­nies have been ac­quir­ing over­seas ho­tels, in­dus­try ex­perts said.

The num­ber of out­bound trav­el­ers fromChina stood at 114 mil­lion per­son-trips in 2014, ac­cord­ing to the China Tourism Academy. Dur­ing the first six months of the year, the num­ber surged to 61.9 mil­lion, a 16 per­cent year-on-year growth.

An­bang In­sur­ance Group spent $1.95 bil­lion to buy Wal­dorf As­to­ria Ho­tel in New York ear­lier this year, while Sun­shine In­sur­ance Group pur­chased Bac­carat Ho­tel in­NewYork for about $239 mil­lion in Fe­bru­ary.

But the sit­u­a­tion is chang­ing from pure-play ac­qui­si­tions, as Chi­nese com­pa­nies are more keen on the man­age­ment of over­seas ho­tel prop­er­ties, rather than just make prof­its, said Xia Yangyang, di­rec­tor of the in­ter­na­tional cap­i­tal group at Jones Lang LaSalle China.

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