Chinese aviation and shipping giant HNA Group is planning to buy a 25 per cent stake in Hilton Worldwide from its biggest shareholder Blackstone Group.

The transaction is valued around $6.5 billion.

In a statement Hilton said that the acquisition established “a long-term strategic investment in Hilton and Hilton’s planned spin-offs of Park Hotels and Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations”.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, and will reduce Blackstone’s interest in Hilton to around 21 per cent.

The agreement will see HNA appoint two directors (one HNA member and one independent member) to Hilton’s Board of Directors.

Announcing the news Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton said:

“We are pleased to welcome HNA Group as a long-term investor and strategic partner. HNA Group has a broad portfolio of successful travel and hospitality businesses and a proven track record of creating value in this industry.

“We believe this mutually beneficial relationship will open new opportunities for our brands and guests around the world, particularly in light of HNA’s strong position in the fast-growing Chinese travel and tourism market, the largest outbound travel and tourism market in the world.”

HNA Group has interests in aviation, tourism, financial services, real estate and logistics, and owns carriers including Hainan Airlines and Tianjin Airlines.

Earlier this year, HNA bought a 51 per cent stake in Rezidor Hotel Group.

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