23 May 2018 – Expansión
The Thai hotel company Minor Hotels Group has entered the shareholding of NH Hotels with the purchase of a package of 30 million shares, representing 8.6% of the Spanish hotel chain’s share capital, from the British investment fund Oceanwood for around €190 million, as revealed by Expansión.
The agreement reached between Oceanwood and the company headquartered in Bangkok has been closed for a price of €6.40 per share, slightly above NH’s share price at the end of trading yesterday (€6.35). The hotel chain’s share price has appreciated by 5.83% so far this year. Evercore has been the advisory bank to Minor. On the legal, Baker has advised the Thai firm whilst Garrigues has advised Oceanwood.
Minor, whose shares are listed in Bangkok, has a market capitalisation of USD 6 billion and owns 161 hotels in 26 countries. The chain is the owner of the brands Anantara, Avani, Elewana, Oaks and Tivoli and also operates establishments owned by the chains Four Seasons, Marriott and St. Regis.
The purchase of this share package makes Minor NH’s third-largest shareholder, behind the Chinese holding company NHA, with a 29.5% stake and Grupo Hesperia, in the hands of the businessman José Antonio Castro, with 9%. Oceanwood will continue as the fourth-largest shareholder, with almost 5%, although it will strengthen its weight after exercising the conversion rights of a convertible bond that it subscribed to five years ago and which it will execute soon. The fund first invested in NH in 2013 by purchasing stakes owned by the savings banks and has grown its share over the last few years.
In this way, as a consequence of the conversion of all of NH’s convertible bonds, Oceanwood will hold 9.5% of the share capital post-conversion, assuming that all of NH’s convertible bonds currently in circulation are converted.
The exit of the Chinese
This shareholder move comes in the middle of the divestment process being undertaken by HNA, which in January announced that it had engaged JPMorgan and Benedetto, Gartland and Company to “review” its shareholder position in NH and to identify potential buyers.
That decision by the Chinese group came after Barceló’s failed proposal to merge its businesses with those of its rival NH. The offer, which was overwhelmingly rejected by NH’s Board of Directors, stirred up rumours of a takeover once again. Last week, the Chinese group revealed that, after receiving interest from various investors, it plans to put its 29.5% stake up for sale.
NH, with 380 hotels and around 59,000 rooms, closed the first quarter of 2018 with a net profit of €21.7 million, compared with losses of €24.8 million during the same period in 2017.
Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)
Translation: Carmel Drake