(Bloomberg) — InterContinental Hotels Group Plc’s five-star property in the Portuguese city of Porto is based at a refurbished 18th-century palace, furnished with marble counters, chandeliers and a piano bar.

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It’s a hotel fit for the world’s mega-wealthy, and one of the richest among them is behind it.

The family office of Joe Tsai, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s co-founder, emerged this year as a major investor in the property. His Blue Pool Capital also has an indirect stake in more than half-a-dozen five-star hotels across Spain that offer weekend getaways featuring gourmet experiences for around $1,000 a night, registry filings show.

The push into property isn’t new for Blue Pool — which also has holdings in US stocks and venture capital — though it has accelerated since last year. The firm paid $188 million in January for a penthouse previously owned by Dan Och at 220 Central Park South on New York’s Billionaires Row, just months after Tsai, 58, acquired two full-floor apartments in the same building for about $157.5 million. He also established a real estate firm based in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, with filings listing his personal address as being in one of Hong Kong’s most exclusive residential areas.

Blue Pool is not just based in the Asian city. It also has major connections there.

The Iberian hotels are part of a fund targeting European hospitality assets set up in 2018 by Gaw Capital, a private equity firm also headquartered in Hong Kong. Brothers Kenneth and Goodwin Gaw founded their namesake firm in 2005 and turned it into one of the city’s biggest property players with assets under management now totaling about $35 billion.

Gaw Capital executives manage the London-based holding companies for the fund’s investments in the Iberian properties, but Blue Pool Chief Executive Officer Oliver Weisberg controls at least 75% of the equity in them, indicating most of the money is from Tsai. Gaw Capital’s European hospitality fund acquired the InterContinental in Porto for about 55 million euros ($57 million) in 2018, the same year it bought a 50% stake in Spain’s Hospes hotel chain in a deal valuing the business at about 125 million euros.

A representative for Gaw Capital declined to comment, while Blue Pool didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Many members of the world’s ultra-rich — from Zara founder Amancio Ortega to the Safra banking dynasty — have diversified their wealth into real estate to preserve their fortunes. Acquiring properties in European jurisdictions including Portugal can also open up access for residency programs.

Tsai, a Canadian citizen born in Taiwan who is also Alibaba’s executive vice chairman, has hinted that wealth preservation was a factor in his decision to spend about $3.5 billion on the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets and the team’s arena in recent years. With shares of the e-commerce giant down by almost a third this year, most of his $5.8 billion fortune is now tied up in the sports team, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“NBA teams are not going to lose asset value,” Tsai said of his basketball investment in a 2020 Bloomberg Businessweek article. “It’s like owning a penthouse apartment on Park Avenue.”

–With assistance from Henrique Almeida, Shawna Kwan and Venus Feng.

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