It looks like tighter restrictions on outbound investment are starting to hinder dealmaking at HNA. Although the Rezidor deal may still go through, you've got to wonder what it means for the rest of 2017 and beyond.
But its bid has been stymied by delays in getting the money needed out of China.
The two hotel groups have been interlinked since Carlson took a 25 percent stake in Rezidor in 2005, before gradually growing its shareholding to 51.3 percent.
HNA’s acquisition of Carlson meant a mandatory takeover offer for the outstanding shares in Rezidor. Despite the offer being accepted by shareholders representing around 19.1 percent of outstanding shares at the start of April, nothing has yet happened.
In its second quarter results announcement, Rezidor said that the settlement of the offer was conditional on HNA subsidiary HNA Sweden “receiving all necessary regulatory, governmental or similar clearances, approvals and decisions” but that it had not “yet obtained the necessary regulatory approvals to transfer funds out from China to be used for settlement in the offer.”
The deadline has been pushed back to the end of September and may be postponed until November 3.
HNA is one of a number of Chinese companies that have taken a keen interest in mergers and acquisitions activity within the tourism and hospitality sector. HNA currently owns 25.4 percent of Hilton Worldwide’s common stock.
Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta had the following to say during the company’s second quarter earnings call about its relationship with HNA.
“I think as it relates to HNA, I don’t have a lot to add to what you’re reading about in the sense that we continue to have a dialogue with them,” Nassetta said. “We continue to work on the things that I have described in the past to you, and we continue to work on the process of onboarding a couple of board members, all as planned. And what happens with them? Ultimately, obviously, I don’t know, but it appears to us sort of business as usual.”
Late last month came word that Chinese authorities may force Anbang to sell is ownership in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.
However, at the end of last year speculation grew that the Chinese government would start restricting the ability of companies to take money out of the country to fund deals.
Are we about to see a serious restriction in Chinese dealmaking or is this just a minor bump in the road?
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Photo credit: The Radisson Blu at Hamburg airport. HNA Group's attempt to take over the rest of the Rezidor Hotel Group has been held up. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group