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Kaiyuan taps into tourist businesses outside hotels
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Kaiyuan Group, China's largest privately-owned hotel management company, plans to diversify into tourism-related business after securing a US$100-million investment from the Carlyle Group, and may go public as early as next year.


The Zhejiang-based company, whose current operations span real estate development and hotel management, has already received an initial 340 million yuan (US$45.3 million) from the US private equity firm. It also hopes to raise funds from an initial public offering in Hong Kong in 2008 or 2009, China Business News reported yesterday, citing group president Chen Miaolin.


Carlyle will likely send about 400 million yuan to Kaiyuan early next year, Chen said.


According to Kaiyuan's plan, the company will invest in domestic tourism spots and tap into the complete tourism industry chain, Chen told the paper without elaborating.


For its hotel business, Kaiyuan plans to open five or six hotels annually over the coming years and hopes to increase the number of hotels it manages to 35 by 2010, and further double the number a few years afterward, Chen said.


The company will also increase franchising of its brand, Chen said. Hotels in Kaiyuan's chains - more than 20, including those under construction - are mainly built and owned by the group. Kaiyuan is looking for a strategic investor to take up to a 40-percent stake.


(Shanghai Daily November 20, 2007)

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