The surge in Chinese investments in U.S. hotel companies is starting to raise a question rarely heard in the world of commercial real estate: When does the ownership of a luxury hotel become a matter of national security?
Marriott, which owns little real estate, valued Starwood for its brand names and hotel management contracts. But Anbang may be in “a different place,” in the words of David Katz, lodging and gaming analyst at Telsey Advisory Group. Like sovereign wealth funds and private equity investors, it may hanker for the real estate and seek to keep or augment Starwood’s property portfolio.
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