HNA Hospitality is owned by the sprawling conglomerate HNA whose operations range from aviation to financial services to freight and shipbuilding to entertainment. This subsidiary is dedicated to the hotel industry and has been the topic of much discussion recently. Acquisitions and expansions into the capital of major groups suggest that the Chinese giant is preparing to carve out a large place of a market that it entered only 20 years ago.
HNA group was born in 1993 when Chen Feng created Hainan Airlines at the request of the regional government of the Hainan Province, a tropical island in southern China. Under the aegis of HNA Tourism, NA Hospitality Group was founded in 1997, when the first HNA hotel was established. It was not until the year 2000 that HNA Hotels & Resorts was launched. It took another eight years for the Tangla brand to be developed on the Chinese market. Since then, HNA Hotels & Resorts developed several brands on the upscale segment: The Tang Hotel, Tang Grand Place, and Tangla Hotels & Resorts.
The hotel group’s operations accelerated in the years after 2010, with mergers and acquisitions and equity investments in other companies in the sector. In 2014, HNA became a major shareholder of the Spanish NH Hotel Group by increasing its participation to 30% of shares; the Spanish chain represented about 400 establishments on three continents. 2016, a very busy year for the Chinese group, was marked by its entry into the capital of the French group Pierre & Vacances and takeover 25% of Hilton Worldwide, which is the second largest hotel group in the world.
In particular, it bought the American giant Carlson Rezidor in 2016/2017 and swept up several brands: Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson Edwardian, Radisson Red Park Inn, Park Plaza, Quorvus Collection ... Carlson Rezidor had grown out of the American company Carlson, founded in 1938 by Curtis L. Carlson in Minneapolis, and the Swedish group Rezidor, founded in 1960 by the airline SAS Airlines. When SAS sold Rezidor in 2006, Rezidor entered the Stockholm Stock Exchange and Carlson became a reference shareholder and then majority shareholder, before the whole was acquired by HNA.
In the space of just a few years, the Chinese giant has become a veritable hotel empire, and its ability to impose itself on the market through mergers and acquisitions bears testimony to the power of this new actor that is already among the world champions.
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