BlackRock & THS Strengthen Positions in NH´s Capital

25/01/2014 – Expansion

The evolution of the NH Hotel Group has shot the interest of the funds participating in its capital up. They doubled their stake at the chain chaired by Rodrigo Echenique. Both the U.S. management company BlackRock and the British Taube Hodson Stonex (THS) have taken advantage of Bankia´s leave and bought shares, empowering their postition in the capital´s holding.

According to the sources from the market, BlackRock, the third main shareholder with 5.62% could have raised the percentage of holding up to 9%, equal to 10 millions of titles. On the part of THS, holding 3.89%, it could go up to 5%. At the moment none of the companies informed the CNMV about the new share purchase. The only investment it reported was the one in the Swiss bank UBS that bought 13.49 million shares for more than 66 million Euros, which deed allowed it to reach 5.44%.

Divestment

BlackRock and THS have been shareholders in NH for 5 months by now. Their entrance converged with the first divestment wave in the old saving banks that benefited from the bullish rally in the urban chain in order to bring their hotel adventure to an end.

Thus, Novagalicia Banco, Banco Mare Nostrum and Kutxabank, historic partners of NH, sold 9,3%. Weeks later, the wake was followed by Ibercaja that owned 4,03%. The bank´s leave gave way to the new profile investors, funds, by now unknown to NH but common in other tourism enterprises like IAG (holding of Iberia and British Airways) and Amadeus. Apart from BlackRock and THS, another manager company, Fidelity, acknowledged its 1,46%.

(…) The banks are not the only ones to plan diverse investments in NH.

In 2013, after many failures, the Chinese conglomerate company HNA entered in the capital paying 234,5 millon Euros for 20% of NH. Several months later, it came to agreement with Amancio Ortega, the owner of the textile imperium Inditex, that bought 4,05% for about 50 millons, (…).

After the rearrangement, NH Hotel Group has slightly reduced its core shareholder structure where Hesperia with 20,07% of capital was left, as well as Intesa Sanpaolo holding 4,52%.

What is more, in 2013  the company cleared the financial agenda and obtained liquidity with a new syndicate credit for 200 million Euros, the obligations issue for 250 millions and another issue of the convertible bonds for the same amount. The operative plan´s strategy for five years includes abandoning between 30 and 40 hotels and incorporating 72 establishments and 11.000 rooms in order to grow in size. The plan considers exceeding 200 millions of EBIDTA.

NH does not foresee returning to black numbers by 2016. It lost 18,53 millon Euros last year, juxtaposed next to 292 millons from 2012, according to Bloomberg´s analysts. The revenues increased by 1%. On the stock market, the titles awarded yesterday 3,4% to 4,55 Euros. In 2014, 6,18% has been revised.

Source: Expansión

48