What will HNA Group do next?
What will HNA Group do next?
06 MARCH 2017 8:23 AM

Let’s speculate on HNA Group’s motives after the company made an offer to acquire Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group but reduced its stake in NH Hotels to avoid ownership.

It would be unfair to suggest HNA Group’s recent history with Carlson Hotels, Carlson Rezidor and NH Hotels is a saga, but what HNA is doing—and the reactions of the other companies to it—is just part and parcel of being publicly traded companies.

Last week, HNA announced it is reducing its ownership stake in NH Hotels to less than 30%, which allows HNA to avoid the European Union’s requirement to make a mandatory bid to acquire the rest of the company.

This is what HNA also did in regards to Carlson Rezidor, but HNA’s 100% bid for the company is still being discussed and Carlson Rezidor board members have recommended shareholders reject the deal.

HNA has not made a bid for 100% of NH. It has for Carlson Rezidor. Those are two facts that might not make certain shareholders at NH any happier over what they see as potential conflict of interest vis-à-vis HNA still owning a large chunk of Carlson Rezidor.

Such angst was what resulted in new Carlson Hotels’ boss Federico González Tejera being ousted from the top seat at NH.

I shall keep you informed of what transpires next.

Monumental baggage
When traveling to hotel industry conferences, I find the most angst-ridden part is in getting luggage through airline policies.

In Europe, the low-fare carriers have strict policies on the number and weight of baggage, which for me and many others is amplified by a horror of checking in bags and, worse, hanging out by carousels.

I don’t consider myself laden with technology when I travel. However, a laptop, lead, battery charger, phone charger, phone and SLR camera with 25mm-80mm and 85mm-300mm lenses all take up weight and space—actually, looking at this list, maybe I am technology-laden.

But then I read about the trip by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud to Indonesia, where his luggage included two Mercedes-Benz S600 motor cars, 10 ministers, 25 Saudi princes and another—give or take 50 or so—1,400 individuals, according to the BBC.

I am fascinated to know what hotel can look after this moving village. There can only be one or two in each destination, if that.

How many months or years notice do you need to book out the entire property, and what discount—if any—can be worked out on the fact that you might have booked several rooms? I assume the king’s staff has, or maybe there are lots of Murphy beds involved?

What revenue manager picked up the phone one slow Tuesday afternoon and took the call?

I’d love to know if anyone in the industry has experienced booking and accompanying such megaparties.

Email Terence Baker or find him on Twitter.

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