From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Macron crushes Le Pen in French presidential vote
- EB-5 extended without change
- Ashford Hospitality Trust’s take on FelCor
- Hotel Stock Index up in April; Q1 earnings in full force
- AccorHotels shares rise on likely AccorInvest sale
Macron crushes Le Pen in French presidential vote: French voters overwhelmingly voted Emmanuel Macron to be the country’s next president, in a vote that went against recent populist election and referendum votes in the United States and United Kingdom, according to the BBC and other news outlets.
Macron, who won more than 66% of the vote, ran under the flag of new political party En Marche. His win has been seen as adding strength to the European Union, which has been beleaguered of late following the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU and the arguments surrounding its divorce arrangements. On the news, Paris’ stock exchange Cotation Assistée en Continu index, known as the CAC40, opened 1.1% higher, according to The Guardian, after recently, on news that Macron had also won the first round of presidential voting, moving up to its highest level in nine years.
EB-5 extended without change: On Friday U.S. President Donald Trump signed a law approving $1.1 trillion in appropriations spending through 30 September 2017. Part of that extends the EB-5 Regional Center program with no change through that time period.
On the JMBM Global Hospitality Group Hotel Law Blog, JMBM Global Hospitality Group Chairman Jim Butler writes that “industry leaders view this extension of the program as the necessary threshold to achieve a long-term legislative solution to the issues that have been raised about the EB-5 program before any regulatory changes are implemented and before the next sunset date of September 30, 2017.We expect all stakeholders in the EB-5 business to be pushing very hard toward this end.”
Ashford Hospitality Trust’s take on FelCor: Ashford Hospitality Trust President and CEO Douglas Kessler said the company was “disappointed” its bid to acquire real estate investment trust FelCor Lodging Trust didn’t pan out, but he said there’s nothing he would have done differently.
“We put a deal on the table that we felt was a better offer, and they decided to go in a different direction,” he said, during the company’s Q1 earnings call with analysts on Friday.
The company saw revenue per available room increase 3.4% across its portfolio during the first quarter, and Kessler said leadership still is looking for possible single-asset acquisitions they believe can be accretive.
Hotel Stock Index up in April; Q1 earnings in full force: The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index increased 1.4% in April, closing the month at 3,932. Year to date through April, the index was up 6.2%.
For more news coverage of the public hotel companies listed on the Hotel Stock Index, visit our Q1 2017 earnings roundup page.
AccorHotels shares rise on likely AccorInvest sale: Shares in AccorHotels rose as much as 5%, on news that it is in exclusive negotiations to sell off 80% of its HotelInvest portfolio, which the French hotel firm placed in February into a new holding company, AccorInvest, based in Luxembourg.
In February, Accor CEO Sébastien Bazin said Accor would, in his estimation, hold about 33% of the new entity. News this weekend from media outlets, including the Irish Independent, suggest that figure will be nearer 20%, with 80% of the €6.6 billion ($7.2 billion) portfolio likely to be bought within months to a consortium formed of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC; French asset management company Amundi and U.S. real estate investment trust Colony NorthStar.
Compiled by Terence Baker and Stephanie Ricca.