China’s HNA Group is to pay Blackstone $6.5bn (€6bn) for 25% of Hilton hotel group.

The deal – due to complete early next year – will reduce Blackstone’s stake in the group to around 21%.

Jon Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone and chairman of the Hilton board of directors, said: “Since our initial investment in Hilton nine years ago, the company and its leadership team have delivered phenomenal results.

“The company’s future is bright, and this long-term investment from HNA Group only adds to its potential.” 

Hainan Airlines conglomerate HNA will appoint two directors to Hilton’s board; Gray will remain chairman.

Adam Tan, vice-chairman and chief executive at the HNA Group, said: “Hilton is an iconic global hospitality company with an unmatched portfolio of high-quality brands and a reputation for operational excellence.

“This investment is consistent with our strategy to enhance our global tourism business, and we look forward to working together on new initiatives that leverage our respective strengths, expertise and tourism platforms to provide travellers more choice, value and world-class services.”

HNA last year made its debut real estate deal in Europe, buying a London office asset, the European headquarters of Thomson Reuters, in Canary Wharf, worth around £200m (€225m).

Blackstone paid $26bn for the Hilton group in mid 2007.