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Chinese hotel groups to buy Western chains

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

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Exciting times: In the international top hospitality new mega fusions are in the making. This year alone major mergers and acquisitions of hotel groups could take place. Striking is the urge of Chinese hotel groups, to buy Western chains. TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the worldwide leading provider of global b2b hotel data, has listed the current market trend.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts – Two Chinese hotel chains Jin Jiang Hotels (178.000 rooms, fifth largest hotel chain in China) and Plateno (298,000 rooms, China Hotel Group, second largest chain) plan to merge to take over the US Hotel Group (brands such as Sheraton Grande, Westin, Le Meridien, Aloft, St. Regis - 1,200 hotels in over 100 countries; 397 new hotel construction projects). This has been reported by "China Travel News". Should this takeover really succeed, the by far, largest hotel group in the world – under Chinese leadership would be created. According to industry insider Accor or Wyndham could have a concrete interested in taking over Starwood Hotels.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) - After failed takeover and merger negotiations with Starwood Hotels the British Hotel Group plans now to enter negotiations with FRHI (Fairmont, Raffles, Swissotel) and Mövenpick Hotels. In the race for faster growth compared to Marriott and Hilton IHG (brands such as InterContinental Hotel, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Kimpton - 4,900 hotels with 724,000 rooms in more than 100 countries) has to look for new opportunities.

Kingdom Holding - The holding company by the Saudi billionaire Prince Alwalid bin Talal plans IPOs for the investments of Four Seasons Hotels and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. At the same time the sale of the stake in FRHI (Fairmont, Raffles, Swissotel; other owner is a sovereign wealth fund from Qatar) is officially prepared. FRHI currently operates 116 top hotels with approximately 44,000 rooms in 34 countries, including renowned hotels such as the Plaza in New York City, Peace Hotel in Shanghai and the Savoy in London. Financial experts estimate the value of the hotel holding to about three billion dollars.

Other market developments in brief:

•             Louvre Hotels Group (1,100 hotels with 95,000 rooms in Europe) - New owner Jin Jiang Hotels (since late 2014) points out bank loan in the amount of EUR 2.5 billion for further expansion.

•             Kew Green Hotels (44 hotels with 5,179 rooms in the UK) was purchased by HK CTS Hotels, wholly owned subsidiary of China National Travel Service Group Corporation.

•             Welcome Hotels (17 Hotels in Germany) could be sold; the owner, the privately operated Warsteiner Brewery, is checking "development options".

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