Skift Take

With Oceanwood (mostly) checking out and HNA looking to sell, it's all change at NH Hotels. Maybe this will kick off the consolidation in the hotel market that so many have predicted.

Hospitality group Minor International is set to become the second largest shareholder in Spain’s NH Hotel Group after agreeing to buy an 8.6 percent stake from London-based hedge fund Oceanwood Capital.

The $225 million (€192 million) deal will take Minor International’s stake to 9.7 percent when it completes it in June. The single biggest individual shareholder is still HNA Group, which is busy trying to sell off its 30 percent stake.

All of this means NH Hotels is likely to have very different investors in the near future.

Besides commenting on the shares changing hands, NH Hotels didn’t offer much of a statement, adding only: “NH Hotel Group does not intend to make any additional comments regarding this agreement reached between Oceanwood and Minor Hotels. We remain focused on our strategic business plan.”

Selling 30,000 of its shares to Minor International will leave Oceanwood with a tiny stake, according to the most up-to-date information. Oceanwood was one of the shareholders that came to prominence in 2016, when it fought a battle with HNA over the make-up of the NH Hotels board.

Oceanwood and another shareholder Hesperia believed that HNA had a conflict of interest following its purchase of Carlson Hotels and its 51.3 percent ownership stake in competitor Rezidor Hotel Group. Eventually shareholders forced out its CEO and four other board members.

Earlier this year, NH Hotels rejected a merger approach from Spanish rival Barceló but said it was open to offers.

Minor to Major

Thailand-based Minor International has gradually expanded its footprint across Europe in recent years. In 2016 it bought Portugal’s Tivoli Hotels & Resorts for $344 million (€294 million),  and in December 2017 purchased a majority stake in upmarket UK restaurant group Corbin & King.

The company’s CEO Dillip Rajakarier called the NH Hotels deal a “significant milestone”.

“Over the past few years, NH Hotel Group’s board of directors and management team have re-invigorated the business and delivered strong business performance in line with its five-year strategic plan,” Rajakarier said.

“As a key shareholder in the business, we look forward to supporting the management team as a strategic shareholder to continue this success and build long-term shareholder value for NH Hotel Group and its shareholders including Minor International.”

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Tags: barcelo, m and a, minor hotels, minor international, nh hotels

Photo credit: The NH Hotel in Queretaro, Mexico. The company has a new minority shareholder. NH Hotel Group

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