From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Hilton to repurchase 10 million shares from HNA
- Hilton tinkers with Tru prototype to keep costs down
- New York’s proposal for hotel training to spot human trafficking
- Global preliminary March data for London hotels
- A look at the Wyndham brand portfolio
Hilton to repurchase 10 million shares from HNA: Hilton announced it has entered into an agreement to repurchase 10 million shares from the HNA Tourism Group affiliate making a secondary offering of Hilton shares, according to SEC filings and a news release. The HNA affiliate will make a secondary offering of 63,050,000 shares of Hilton stock, and underwriters will have a 30-day option to purchase an additional 9,450,000 shares.
Hilton also has the right to increase its number of shares repurchased, up to 16.5 million shares. Pricing for the offering has not been set and is conditional on the closing of the offering; however, the closing of the offering will not be conditioned on the closing of the share repurchase, according to the news release.
Hilton tinkers with Tru prototype to keep costs down: Tru by Hilton started out with a fast-paced launch, but that hasn’t stopped the brand’s management team from tweaking the prototype to keep development costs down, Hotel News Now’s Jeff Higley reports.
Alexandra Jaritz, global head of Tru, said 16 properties are open under the brand and there are 470 deals in various stages of development.
“We are going to be opening more than 50 this year, and by 2020, we hope to have more than 300 hotels open,” she said.
The brand has brought in developers, owners, general contractors, architects and engineers to rein in the costs, she added.
“We went in and immediately started saying, ‘Where can we (value-engineer), and how quickly can we translate those savings into real time as these hotels are being built?” Jaritz said. “Since having gone through that exercise, we have gotten the numbers to where our owners are now telling us, ‘We don’t believe there is any more you can cut.’ That shows how nimble we have been.”
New York’s proposal for hotel training to spot human trafficking: Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Sen. Jesse Hamilton are sponsoring a New York state legislative proposal that would require hotels to train staff on how to recognize signs of human trafficking, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Lawmakers could vote on the proposal as soon as 16 April once they reconvene. If passed, the training would help front-desk employees, housekeepers and other staff members look for signs that human trafficking is taking place in the hotel, such as “large numbers of people coming and going at all hours, or young female guests with no credit cards or identification,” the newspaper reports.
London reported a 1.9% increase in supply and a 0.9% increase in demand, according to STR data. Occupancy declined 0.9% to 79.8%, average daily rate decreased 1.2% to £138.55 ($196.05) and revenue per available room decreased 2.2% to £110.52 ($156.38).
A look at the Wyndham brand portfolio: Wyndham Hotel Group has acquired several brands since Wyndham Worldwide began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 2006, and the company now has 20 brands, USA Today reports.
Wyndham acquired AmericInn and its management company, Three Rivers Hospitality, in July 2017, and is currently in the process of acquiring La Quinta Holdings’ franchise and management business, which is expected to close by the second quarter of this year.
The company is also selling its Knights Inn brand to RLH Corporation for $27 million.
Compiled by Danielle Hess.