PARIS (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate Fosun (0656.HK) is still in talks to buy a stake in French ski resorts and amusement parks operator Compagnie des Alpes (CDAF.PA) and also has a few French consumer goods companies on its radar, Senior Vice-President Jim Jiannong Qian said on Tuesday.
“Yes, we are talking with them (Compagnie des Alpes). We are still interested,” said Qian, who also heads Fosun’s tourism business.
Qian, who was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a Paris forum on Franco-Chinese investments, declined to discuss the size of the stake Fosun was looking for nor timing for a possible deal.
Fosun already owns French holiday resorts group Club Med while Compagnie des Alpes (CDA) operates 11 ski resorts in France and 13 leisure parks and tourist attractions in Europe, including Parc Asterix and the Grevin waxworks museum in Paris. It is also seeking partners to expand overseas in high-growth markets such as China.
“Compagnie des Alpes is a very good company,” Qian said.
“In China the ski business is booming now and in 2022 we are launching the winter Olympics. For Compagnie des Alpes it would be a good chance to come to China and it will also help their business in France,” he said.
“The Chinese customer is very interested in ski, like 10 years ago the Chinese people started to drink wine,” he added.
In May the head of Compagnie des Alpes said more favourable economic and political conditions in France after the election of Emmanuel Macron, made him hopeful of reaching a deal this year to sell a stake in the company to Fosun and other potential investors.
Qian also told the investment forum that Fosun’s successful alliance with Club Med made his group “confident about France”.
He would not discuss other possible investment targets in France but said, “We are in contact with consumer goods companies”.
Tourism is key to China’s shift towards more consumer-driven economic growth, with companies including Fosun, Dalian Wanda Group Co and HNA Group increasing their bets on the sector.
China will account for 14 percent of total global outbound travel by 2020 from 10 percent now, brokerage CLSA has forecast, with the number of Chinese overseas trips expected to rise to 200 million a year by then from 125 million in 2015.
Editing by Greg Mahlich