Rezidor CEO says HNA wants to grow brand, will study NH deal
HNA plans to make Rezidor a ‘hotel chain on a global level’ as outbound Chinese travel offers ‘real opportunity’ for hotels.
HNA Group, which in April agreed to buy a 51% stake in Rezidor Hotel Group, plans to turn the European lodging company into a “hotel chain on a global level,” according to Rezidor Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Neumann.
HNA may eventually try to combine Brussels-based Rezidor and Madrid-based NH Hotel Group, in which it owns a 30% stake, Neumann, 53, said in an interview in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on May 26. “The priority is to consolidate Carlson Rezidor and then we will study the possibility of integrating with NH,” he said.
HNA, the Chinese investor in airlines and tourism, is acquiring Minneapolis-based Carlson Hotels and its stake in Rezidor, which owns the Radisson and Park Inn brands. HNA must make an offer to Rezidor’s shareholders for the remaining shares once the deal is completed, according to Swedish law. Rezidor, which is listed in Stockholm, has a market value of 5.8 billion Swedish kronor (USD 700 million). The deal is scheduled to close in the second half, Carlson said in April.
Chinese investors are buying U.S. and European hotel businesses in an effort to capture profits generated by increased travel of Chinese travelers overseas. Jin Jiang International, which controls China’s biggest lodging company by market value, is the biggest shareholder in Paris-based hotelier Accor. Jin Jiang also owns Accor competitor Louvre Hotels Group.
Chinese outbound travel rose by about 15% last year to 61 million travelers and is predicted to reach about 85 million within five years, according to research firm Oxford Economics.
Rezidor has more than 450 hotels, primarily in Europe, and one property in China, according to its website. HNA owns a 30% stake in NH, which has about 400 hotels, most of which are in Europe and the Americas.
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