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Chinese real estate tycoon Cai Kui’s family office is in advanced talks to buy a U.S. hotel portfolio from MassMutual for as much as $800 million, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Hong Kong-based Junson Capital, which manages the wealth of the Longfor Properties Co. co-founder, plans to buy seven to eight hotels from MassMutual, according to the person. The assets are mostly boutique hotels, as well as a few resort properties, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
MassMutual, which owns the properties through its asset-management arm Barings, is still negotiating final terms of a transaction with Junson, the person said. An agreement could be announced in the next few weeks, said the person.
The deal shows how Chinese investors with offshore capital remain able to pursue real estate acquisitions around the world, even after the government placed new restrictions on buying trophy assets like overseas hotels, movie studios and sports teams. Any transaction would add to the $11.7 billion of announced hotel acquisitions by Asian companies over the past 12 months, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Junson Capital didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. Michael McNamara, a spokesman for MassMutual, said in an email that the company doesn’t comment on specific investments in its portfolio.
Junson Capital bought the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in London’s Docklands area in 2016, according to a press release at the time. Realtor Colliers International touted it as the first major hotel transaction in the British capital since the U.K. vote to leave the European Union.
Cai has a net worth of $5.3 billion, making him the 35th richest person in China, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He doesn’t have any current management position at Longfor Properties, which continues to be run by his ex-wife.
Barings had more than $304 billion of assets under management at the end of last year, according to its website. It was formed through the 2016 merger of four institutional affiliates of MassMutual, whose full name is Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.
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