On July 11, 2011, the Global Hospitality Group® at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP announced the formation of the Chinese Investment Group™, a dedicated team of hotel and real estate lawyers that provides a gateway for Chinese investment in the United States.
Using experience gained from more than $60 billion in hotel transactions, involving more than 1,300 properties worldwide, together with substantial experience in general real estate transactions, the Group provides Chinese investors with legal and business advice to make prudent and economically successful hotel and real estate investments in the United States.
The Group and its network of reliable professional resources help Chinese investors identify, analyze, evaluate, validate, acquire, finance and manage hotel and real estate opportunities. The Group does not receive any finder’s fees, incentive fees, commissions or payments from any promoters, and provides independent advice to Chinese investors regarding all hotel and real estate opportunities. The Group also represents selected hotel, restaurant and other real property owners and developers in structuring investments for foreign investors — particularly Chinese investors — using the EB 5 immigrant investor visa program.
Representative Clients and Hotels
JMBM has a long history of representing such notable clients as Regent Hospitality Group, Disney Vacation Club, Hillwood Development (Ross Perot, Jr.), MGM Mirage, The Trump Organization and The City of Dallas. JMBM’s bank clients include HSBC, East West Bank, Far East National Bank, HSH Nordbank, Swedbank, Union Bank of California and Wells Fargo. JMBM has also represented many hotel developers and owners throughout the world, including the largest developers and owners of W Hotels and Ritz-Carlton mixed-use projects in the United States.
For more than 20 years, the JMBM Global Hospitality Group® has focused on serving hotel owners, investors, developers and lenders. Its lawyers regularly work with all the major hotel brands and sub-brands ranging from Four Points and Holiday Inn to Marriott, Hilton and Sheraton — more than 60 brands in all — including high-end brands such as Fairmont, Ritz-Carlton, Regent, Renaissance, InterContinental, Four Seasons, and Mandarin Oriental.
Experience with Chinese investment and EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program
Over the past two years, the lawyers at JMBM have worked on a rapidly growing number of projects with Chinese investment in U.S. hotels, real estate projects, and EB-5 immigrant investor visa projects, including the following:
- The June 2010 purchase of Regent Hotels, including worldwide rights to the brand and hotel management agreements in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean, by Formosa International Hotels Corporation, a Taiwan-based public company.
- The sale of the Sheraton Universal Hotel to Shenzhen New World Group, which closed in January 2011.
- The $20 million investment by Chinese investors in the W Hotel and Residences Hollywood (for Drai’s Vegas-style night club and the Delphine fine dining restaurant), which closed in July 2011.
- Several Regional Center EB-5 Chinese investments are in process, as well as other significant non-EB-5 projects relating to Chinese investment.
“We have represented the interests of global investors for decades,” said Jim Butler, Chairman of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® and Chinese Investment Group™. “We are especially pleased to bring our legal expertise and our knowledge of hotel and real estate markets, to our valued Chinese investor clients, and those who work with them.”
What JMBM’s Chinese Investment Group does for Chinese investors in the United States
JMBM helps Chinese investors seeking to purchase or invest in hotels and real estate in the U.S. with:
- Identifying and evaluating hotel and real estate opportunities
- Due diligence investigation of properties
- Negotiating purchase and sale transactions
- Debt and equity financings
- Obtaining government approvals and permits
- Tax planning
After properties are acquired, JMBM’s lawyers assist hotel and real estate owners with:
- Business contracts and leases
- Employment and labor matters
- Litigation and tax issues
For hotel investments, JMBM also provides:
- Contacts with the top hotel brands (Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, InterContinental Hotel Group, Hyatt, Regent, Peninsula, Four Seasons and others)
- Negotiation of the best available contract terms in the market for hotel franchise and management agreements
- A network of financing sources, construction managers, operators, brands, and specialized consultants
What JMBM’s Chinese Investment Group does for clients seeking EB-5 financing
For hotel, restaurant and other commercial real estate clients seeking financing through the EB-5 program, JMBM advises on:
- EB-5 project viability and due diligence
- Qualifying for governmental incentives such as New Markets Tax Credits, redevelopment agency funding, and other tax credits
- EB-5 Regional Centers
- Determining targeted employment area (TEA) designation
- Job creation requirements
- Securing state and local governmental support for a project
- Federal securities laws with respect to the sale of limited partnership interests to EB-5 investors
- Structuring and documenting EB-5 investment programs
- Negotiating marketing contracts for EB-5 investment programs
- Negotiating loan and inter-creditor agreements between EB-5 lenders and other lenders
Key members of the Group speak Mandarin Chinese, including Eudeen Chang.