Elliott & Minor Enter the Bidding for HNA’s Stake in NH

30 May 2018 – Expansión

The bidding to acquire the stake owned by the Chinese holding company HNA in NH is entering the home stretch. The Asian giant has set this week as the deadline for the receipt of binding offers for its 29.5% stake in NH, which will be diluted to 25.5% following the execution of the hotel chain’s convertible bonds that are currently in circulation.

The investment funds that have made it to the final round are Lone Star, which has joined forces with the US hotel chain Hyatt to launch its offer, as well as Apollo and Elliott, who have also expressed their interest. Meanwhile, Starwood Capital and Blackstone, which both analysed the operation, have been excluded from the process.

The offers from the funds fall in the range of between €5.50 and €6.00 per share, according to market sources. Yesterday, NH’s share price closed at €6.39. Other sources explain that the funds have signed a standstill with the company so as to not exceed 20% in NH following the operation and whereby avoid having to launch a takeover bid for 100% of the entity at a low price.

These funds have also been joined by the Thai hotel chain Minor, which last week acquired €30 million of Oceanwood’s shares, representing 8.6% of NH, for around €190 million. The agreement includes a pact whereby the manager concedes Minor the right to exclusively negotiate the purchase of the rest of its stake in NH, which, after the bond conversion, will amount to 9.5%.

If it were to acquire all of HNA’s stake, Minor would clearly exceed the 30% threshold that would oblige it to launch a takeover bid for the entire company. In that scenario, the Thai group, whose shares are traded on the Hong Kong stock market, would have a number of alternatives: sell some of its stake on the market, buy fewer shares from HNA or request permission from the shareholders to launch a takeover bid (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Valencia Puts an End to Land Speculation: Construction Work Must Start Within 2 Years

6 February 2018 – Eje Prime

Valencia is clamping down on land speculation. The reform of the Law governing Regional Planning, Urban Development and Landscapes (Lotup) which is being processed by the Ministry of Housing, Public Works and Structures (in the autonomous region of Valencia) has reduced the timeframe that owners are permitted to submit a town planning project from six to two years once they have committed to purchasing a plot.

That term may only be extended by the municipal regulations up to a maximum period of six years, according to Valencia Plaza. The legal text is being submitted to the Consell Jurídic Consultiu (CJC) for consideration.

The limit of two years will be “the supplementary or subsidiary rule” when a plan, program or municipal ordinance governing an urban development activity does not indicate any deadline for the submission of the project. In any case, the maximum term will be six years.

With the new modification of Lotup, the Law will allow private entities to urge the expropriation of plots in their favour when the owners fail to comply with the deadlines for development, a possibility that has already been considered in the past.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake