Starwood Capital to expand in Asia through partnership with Chinese developer

Shimao Property Holdings Ltd., a Chinese property developer who owns Shimao Hotels & Resorts which operates 20 hotels in China has entered into an agreement with Barry Sternlicht’s private equity firm Starwood Capital Group to establish a hotel joint venture based in China and develop, operate and brand assets there via management contracts and leasing agreements. Under the terms of the agreement, the venture will be owned 51% by Shimao and 49% by Starwood Capital Group.

Starwood Capital Group will provide strong financial and operational support for Shimao Hotels & Resorts’ future hotel expansion plans in China and other key Asia Pacific regions, particularly markets that have witnessed unprecedented levels of Chinese arrivals.

“The joint venture will focus on maximizing the benefits that can be derived from the intangible assets, consolidating the group’s sustainable commercial development while ensuring profitability, and providing the most effective support for partners,” said Tyrone Tang, general manager of Shimao Hotels & Resort.

Shimao Hotels & Resorts domestic hotel portfolio consists of the MiniMax, MiniMax Premier and Yu family of brands, which encompasses the Yu Resort, Yuluxe Hotel, Yu Hotel and Yu Residence brands. The MiniMax (3-star) and MiniMax Premier (4-star) brands offer a design-forward product at an affordable price to the growing class of Chinese millennials that are actively seeking out unique lodging experiences. The upper upscale Yu Brands infuses traditional Chinese elements into state-of-the art accommodations.

“We believe that this partnership will benefit from Starwood Capital Group’s global investment expertise and world-class marketing and revenue management capabilities, together with Shimao’s impressive domestic development track record, strong brand recognition and expansive partner network,” said Kevin Colket, managing director and head of hotels for Asia at Starwood Capital Group. “As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, with a large and growing middle class with increasing disposable income, China represents an exciting market for us, and we are looking forward to meeting Chinese consumers’ rapidly evolving lodging needs through this partnership.”

Morgan Stanley, sole financial advisor in the transaction, was instrumental in bringing together the parties and facilitated reaching the agreement.

Yuluxe Hotel, Taizhou (Shimao Hotels)