5 things to know: 29 March 2018
5 things to know: 29 March 2018
29 MARCH 2018 9:44 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • LaSalle turns down Pebblebrook’s offer
  • Judge allows emoluments lawsuit against Trump to proceed
  • Weekly results for hotels in the US, Canada
  • Wynn general counsel disagrees with Elaine Wynn
  • Gulfstream Hotel owner sues partner

LaSalle turns down Pebblebrook’s offer: Pebblebrook Hotel Trust proposed a share-for-share merger with LaSalle Hotel Properties, but LaSalle’s board of trustees unanimously turned it down, according to company news releases.

“Consistent with our fiduciary duties, the board has taken the time to carefully evaluate the proposal and the future potential of a combined company, and we have concluded that the proposal is grossly inadequate and is, therefore, not in the best interests of our shareholders,” said Stuart Scott, chairman of LaSalle’s board of trustees, in the release. “The board is focused on the continued execution of our strategic plan, prudent capital allocation, and our superior hotel portfolio, which will deliver greater value, sooner to our shareholders than Pebblebrook’s low-premium proposal.”

HNN’s Bryan Wroten reached out to analysts to get their thoughts on the proposal, and analysts said although LaSalle rejected Pebblebrook’s initial proposal, the deal could still happen.

Wes Golladay, VP and equity research analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said the positive reaction of Pebblebrook’s initial offer will pressure LaSalle’s board to really consider offers.

“If you turn down a materially higher offer, it will be a very difficult road for the company for the next year or so,” he said.

Judge allows emoluments lawsuit against Trump to proceed: A federal judge granted permission to the District of Columbia and Maryland to move forward with “a lawsuit against President (Donald) Trump alleging that Trump’s business dealings have violated the Constitution’s ban on receiving improper ‘emoluments,’ or payments, from individual states and foreign governments,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

This is the first time this type of lawsuit has cleared the initial legal hurdle, meaning “the plaintiffs have a legal standing to sue the president,” according to the news outlet.

Should the ruling stand, D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh would be able to get internal documents from the Trump Organization to see how much money the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. has taken from foreign and state governments.

Weekly results for hotels in the U.S., Canada: STR, Hotel News Now’s parent company, released performance results for the Canadian hotel industry and the U.S. hotel industry for the week ending 24 March, according to news release.

Hotels in the U.S. reported a 1% increase in occupancy to 69.4%, a 4.4% increase in average daily rate to $133.42 and a 5.4% increase in revenue per available room to $92.53.

Canada’s hotel industry reported a rise in occupancy of 7.3% to 65.1%, a 7% increase in ADR to 147.41 Canadian dollars ($114.16) and RevPAR rose 14.8% to CA$96 ($74.35).

Wynn general counsel disagrees with Elaine Wynn: Bloomberg reported that Elaine Wynn testified in court claiming that she told Wynn Resorts General Counsel Kim Sinatra about allegations of sexual misconduct against former Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn, who recently stepped down, but Sinatra said she disagrees with Elaine Wynn’s testimony.

"In the relevant conversation in which she promised to destroy Steve Wynn and said she didn’t care if that reduced the company’s stock price to zero in the process, Elaine Wynn made an oblique reference to a settlement, and nothing more,” Sinatra said in a statement.

Elaine Wynn also alleges she lost her seat on the Wynn Resorts board of directors in 2015 “because she had raised questions about her ex-husbands reckless behavior,” Bloomberg reports.

Gulfstream Hotel owner sues partner: CDS Gulfstream, owner of a 51% stake in the Gulfstream Hotel renovation project worth $65 million, sued HH Gulfstream, its partner, “claiming company owners for years engaged in racketeering activities to lure investors into the multimillion-dollar project,” My Palm Beach Post reports.

The project would turn a 106-room downtown hotel into an 87-room hotel with a restaurant downstairs, a champagne room and more, which would be branded under Hilton’s Curio Collection.

“The defendants have engaged in a pattern of fraud to induce our clients to invest in projects in Lake Worth like The Gulfstream Hotel,” said Stuart Kaplan, a managing partner at Kaplan & Parker, the Palm Beach Gardens law firm that applied the suit, according to the news outlet. “We believe this is not an isolated event, and it’s a pattern of behavior that has been ongoing for some time.”

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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