NEW YORK CITY—Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. has sold the iconic Waldorf Astoria New York for $1.95 billion. The buyer is Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. As part of a long-term strategic partnership between the two organizations, Anbang will grant Hilton Worldwide a management agreement to continue to operate the property for the next 100 years, and the hotel will undergo a major renovation to restore the property to its historic grandeur.
Hilton Worldwide intends to use the proceeds from the sale to acquire additional hotel assets in the US. in one or more transactions as part of a like-kind exchange under Internal Revenue regulations. The hotelier did not reveal what properties would be acquired or a timeline for such transactions.
“We are very excited to be entering into this long-term relationship with Anbang, which will ensure that the Waldorf Astoria New York represents the brand’s world-class standards for generations to come. This relationship represents a unique opportunity for our organizations to work together to finally maximize the full value of this iconic asset on a full city block in midtown Manhattan,” says Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton Worldwide.
The Waldorf Astoria New York was famously called “The Greatest of Them All” by Hilton Worldwide’s founder Conrad Hilton. It is an Art Deco masterpiece and has been an internationally recognized symbol of elegance and grace for more than a century. The hotel features several restaurants that are famous in their own right—including Peacock Alley, Bull and Bear Prime Steakhouse and Oscar’s—bustling lounges and bars, the Guerlain Spa, more than 60,000 square feet of function space and several boutiques.
The Waldorf Astoria New York is the flagship hotel of Hilton Worldwide’s rapidly-expanding luxury brand, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. Since 2007, the brand has increased its footprint more than five times to a portfolio of 27 landmark destinations, including Amsterdam, Beijing, Chicago, Dubai, Jerusalem, Ras Al Khaimah and Shanghai. Its pipeline of nine additional hotels includes key destinations such as Bali, Bangkok and Beverly Hills.
Anbang was advised in the deal by Fried Frank, Skadden and Greenberg Traurig. Fried Frank’s team was led by Jonathan Mechanic, real estate partner, while Skadden’s team was led by Audrey Sokoloff and Greenberg Traurig’s team was led by Robert Ivanhoe.
Fried Frank partners who worked on the deal also included real estate partners Franz Rassman and David Karnovsky, as well as tax partner Robert Cassanos. Real estate associates Zachary Bernstein and Matthew Greeson and tax associate Andrew Falevich also assisted with the matter.