China's locally based HNA Group, the parent company of Shanghai-listed Hainan Airlines, has acquired a 20% stake in Spain's NH Hotels for $616 million and the two firms plan a strategic alliance to develop a four-star hotel chain in China. NH Hotels shares climbed 12% to close at $8.40 per share following the announcement on Tuesday.
"NH Hotels enters the major league of the international hotel industry," the group said in a statement, adding that further collaboration is planned in HNA's airline and tour operator businesses. The agreement is subject to approval by China's regulatory authorities and includes the appointment of two HNA executives to the NH board.
HNA, which reported earnings of $10 billion in 2010, operates 50 hotels and 12 airports in China and, as the owner of the nation's fourth-largest airline, 290 commercial aircraft which transported more than 30 million passengers last year. The company also has retail, real estate and mining interests.
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