5 things to know: 12 October 2017
5 things to know: 12 October 2017
12 OCTOBER 2017 9:31 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • AccorHotels confirms Mantra deal
  • California wildfires continue to spread
  • Green projects can get funding with CPACE
  • US hotels see KPIs increase across the board
  • HNA Group barred from using money from insurance subsidiary

AccorHotels confirms Mantra deal: While it had been reported as likely happening for days, AccorHotels officials issued a news release late Wednesday officially announcing a signed agreement to purchase Mantra Group Limited for 3.96 Australian dollars ($3.09) per share, for a total price tag of AU$1.3 billion ($1 billion).

The deal will bring Mantra’s 127 properties and more than 20,000 rooms in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii to AccorHotels’ portfolio and significantly boost the company’s footprint in Australia.

“We are delighted to have come to an agreement to acquire the Mantra Group,” AccorHotels chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin said in the release. “This operation will underpin our long-term growth in the Asia/Pacific region. Mantra’s portfolio would offer AccorHotels additional accommodation formats and a strong customer base to complement our successful hotel portfolio in Australia. We are confident that the transaction terms are attractive for shareholders of both groups.”

California wildfires continue to spread: As rampant wildfires continue to cause damage across northern California’s wine country, NPR reports more areas are being forced to evacuate citizens amid concerns that winds will push the fires even further. So far, 23 are confirmed dead with more unaccounted for.

The resort town of Calistoga, California, is one place now under a mandatory evacuation order. The town’s mayor, Chris Canning, told NPR evacuation was the only sensible route to take.

"The spread of the fire and predictions on the wind and seeing what we've seen had happen throughout our neighboring communities, obviously want to absolutely err on the side of caution here," he said.

Green projects can get funding with CPACE: A relatively new funding platform called CPACE, or commercial property assessed clean energy, offers hoteliers a new path to find financing for environmentally friendly improvements at their properties, writes Hotel News Now’s Bryan Wroten.

Wroten reports the CPACE mechanism started eight years ago in Berkeley, California, but was originally only available to noncommercial properties. Since then it has grown to be offered in all or parts of 15 states and various forms.

Joseph Euphrat, managing director at Cleanfund, said CPACE is now something hoteliers should keep in mind while putting together their financing.

“Before, capital could come from debt or equity, maybe mezzanine or cash or a combination,” he said. “This is now a complimentary tool that is available to compare and contrast to those other options.”

U.S. hotels see KPIs increase across the board: Occupancy, average daily rate and revenue per available room all went up year over year at U.S. hotels for the week ending 7 October, according to the latest data from HNN’s parent company STR.

Occupancy was up 0.9% to 71.4%, while ADR climbed 2% to $130.92 for a combined increase of 3% in RevPAR to $93.51.

The top performer in growth numbers for top 25 markets was Houston, which continues to see a boost in demand following Hurricane Harvey. In that market, occupancy spiked 45% year over year to 85.9%, while average daily rate increased 14.5% to $115.51 and RevPAR jumped 66% to $99.25.

HNA Group barred from using money from insurance subsidiary: Chinese regulators’ crackdown on HNA Group continues with news that the conglomerate, which holds many travel and hotel-related companies including Carlson Hotel Group, has been banned from receiving financial aid “in any form” from Bohai Life Insurance for six months, according to Reuters.

Reuters states Bohai, which is a subsidiary of HNA, was banned from “conducting any fund-related connected transactions with HNA during the period” by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.

Regulators are pushing for better corporate governance at HNA after a review of Bohai Life in March and April “found problems in managing shareholders, internal controls and connected party transactions.”

HNA is also one of several Chinese companies connected to the hotel industry that has seen significant restrictions in moving money out of its home country of late, along with Anbang Insurance Group and Dalian Wanda.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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