Spain’s NH Hotels will launch in China, following the signing of a new deal with HNA Group.
As part of the bilateral trade summit between Spain and China, attended by Spanish President Mariano Rajoy and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, NH and HNA penned a memorandum of understanding that will lead to the creation of a new joint venture hotel management company in China.
Headquartered in Beijing, the new HNA-NH Hotel Management Joint Venture Company will be focus on securing contracts for midscale and upscale hotels in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. These properties could be owned by HNA Group or other third party companies.
And the company will have a head start, with HNA-NH initially taking control of six of HNA’s existing hotels, located in Beijing, Haikou, Sanya and Tianjin, giving the new venture an instant inventory of more than 1,300 rooms.
They also now plan to develop a new prototype hotel for the Chinese market under the NH brand.
“I’m fully convinced of the positive impact and benefits of leveraging the synergies between the two companies, such as the chance for NH to get its feet wet in one of the world’s biggest markets without getting distracted from its current overriding strategic targets,” said Federico González Tejera, CEO of NH Hotels.
The joint venture will be 51% owned by HNA, with NH holding the remaining 49% stake. The two companies have initially pledged to inject US$20 million into the venture.
This collaboration marks the second Sino-Spanish hotel partnership, after Melia Hotels International teamed up with Jin Jiang Hotels in 2011. Although HNA and NH deal goes a significant step further with the creation of a new hotel management company.
NH Hotels currently operates almost 400 hotels in Europe, Africa and Latin America, although this would mark its first foray into Asia Pacific. For HNA Group, this deal marks its latest European collaboration after it took a 48% stake in French airline Aigle Azur in 2012.