Thailand-based hotel group Minor International has launched a takeover bid for NH Hotels of Spain after agreeing to buy a 26.5% stake in the Spanish group from Chinese conglomerate HNA.

Minor’s acquisition of the HNA stake in NH Hotels will cost it €622 million.

The Thai group announced last month that it would purchase an 8.6% stake in NH Hotels from investment firm Oceanwood Capital.

A holding above 30% means the company is required by Spanish law to make a full takeover bid.

Minor Hotels chief executive Dillip Rajakarier said: “We are embarking on a new era, driving investment to cement our footprint in the European hospitality industry.

“We will create a network of over 540 hotels with a reach across Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.”

Minor currently owns or operates up to 160 hotels, including brands of Fours Seasons Hotels and Marriott International. It also owns a leading restaurant chain in Asia and retail brands in Thailand.

NH Hotels operates more than 370 hotels in 30 countries.

The HNA Group, which includes Chinese carriers Hainan Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines, has been seeking to offload some of its holdings.

However, it abandoned plans to float air-services group Swissport on the Swiss stock market in April after also pulling plans to list airline catering business Gategroup.

HNA is in the process of selling $500-million worth of shares in Hilton-owned Park Hotels and Resorts back to Hilton.