Fosun Group

Fosun spins off tourism, hotel assets into new entity

Group to eventually list tourism, entertainment assets on bourses, say company officials

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 December, 2016, 9:57pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 December, 2016, 11:01pm

Fosun Group, China’s biggest privately-held conglomerate, has spun off its tourism and entertainment assets into Fosun Tourism and Culture Group, a move that could see the listing of the business eventually.

Fosun Tourism and Culture Group, the new unit, will have among its assets French resort operator Club Méditerranée, said Qian Jiannong, global partner and vice president of Fosun Group.

The move also coincides with the insurance-to-tourism conglomerate’s plans for an initial public offering of its travel, entertainment and hotel businesses, with combined assets in excess of 20 billion yuan (HK$22.5 billion).

Fosun, controlled by China’s self-styled Warren Buffet Guo Guangchang , has grouped some of its most crucial businesses such as Club Med, which it acquired last year, as well as ventures related to Europe’s second largest tour operator Thomas Cook, into the new company registered in Hong Kong.

“It also includes a newly established hotel and scenic area investment management company, a newly-formed performance unit and an online travel platform,” said a company statement.

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Liang Xinjun, chief executive of Fosun told mainland media in August that the company was considering an IPO for its tourism and entertainment assets in the next two to three years, without disclosing where it will be listed.

The conglomerate’s major investment arm Fosun International is traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange, while its pharmaceutical unit Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical is listed on both the Hong Kong and Shanghai bourses.

The tourism and entertainment business is one of the three key areas that Fosun will focus on in the long run, billionaire Guo said in during a post-earnings briefing in August.

“Fosun Tourism and Culture Group will continue to look for quality investment targets in the global tourism industry in order to improve its whole industry chain and global business development,” the company said.

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The acquisitive Chinese conglomerate made its name by snapping up Western luxury houses, hotels, health-care services companies and tour operators as it gained from the booming demand from affluent Chinese people.

Fosun took control of Club Med in January 2015 after a prolonged takeover battle and since then has set up five resorts across China. It has invested close to 10 billion yuan into the deluxe Atlantis Sanya resort project in Hainan, China’s answer to Hawaii.

In 2015, Fosun purchased a 5 per cent stake in British travel firm Thomas Cook Group, and launched a joint-venture this year with the 173-year-old tour operator in Shanghai. The venture offers 90 travel packages to various destinations including Europe and the Americas.