Warburg Pincus invests in China’s budget hotels

Warburg Pincus has acquired a 20 percent stake in 7 Days, a budget hotel chain in China. The investment has been made from the firm’s first global real estate fund which closed on $1.2 billion in October.

Warburg Pincus, which closed its first fund dedicated to global real estate in October, has acquired a 20 percent stake in 7 Days, a budget hotel chain in China with ambitious expansion plans.

The private equity firm did not disclose further transaction details. The deal is similar to an investment Warburg Pincus made earlier this year in India. In August, Warburg Pincus invested $60 million in Lemon Tree, a local mid-priced hotel operator, in its first deal in India’s hospitality sector.

With a focus on Southeast China region, 7 Days operates seventeen hotels and has another 14 under renovation or under lease contract, according to a statement. The company plans to expand into other locations that capture both business and leisure travellers. 7 Days expects to increase the number of hotels it operates to more than 150 by 2009, with at least ten planned for each major city, according to the statement.

In Asia, Warburg Pincus’ real estate investment professionals are based in Hong Kong, Beijing, Mumbai and Tokyo.