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Billionaire John Pritzker’s private investment firm and a unit of Chinese auto-parts maker Wanxiang Group Corp. are teaming up to invest $1 billion in U.S. hotels.
Pritzker’s San Francisco-based Geolo Capital and Wanxiang America has already completed $400 million in acquisitions, including the luxury Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur, California, from Walton Street Capital LLC and Oaktree Capital Management LP, the companies said in a statement. Wanxiang also purchased from Geolo a minority stake in the 180-room Carmel Valley Ranch resort in Carmel, California. Geolo’s hotel-management company, Commune Hotels & Resorts, which also has the Thompson Hotels and Joie de Vivre chains, will continue to operate both properties.
Wanxiang and Geolo are seeking additional purchases and developments of high-end lodging properties in areas such as California, Texas and Illinois. Since 2010, Wanxiang has invested in about 80 real estate projects in 23 U.S. states, according to the statement.
“We’ve been operating on family capital since the beginning, and it was clear that at some point it was important to find the right partner,” Pritzker, founding partner and director of Geolo Capital, said in a telephone interview. “They are long-term holders like we are.”
Chinese companies bought $4.4 billion in commercial property last year in the six biggest U.S. metropolitan areas, up from almost $3 billion in 2013, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc. Recent transactions include Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group Co.’s February purchase of New York’s Waldorf Astoria for $1.95 billion.
“We look forward to expanding our relationship with Geolo and investing in additional value-add and irreplaceable hospitality assets nationwide,” Larry Krueger, managing director of Wanxiang America’s real estate group, said in the statement.
This article was written by Nadja Brandt from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.