From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Wanda shares rise on news it plans to buy $1b in assets
- Anbang to sell Waldorf, other foreign assets
- RLJ execs set to vote on FelCor deal
- Hoteliers rethink pools on-property
- US, Canada hotel results for week ending 5 August
Wanda shares rise on news it plans to buy $1b in assets: Wanda Hotel Development is planning to purchase assets reportedly worth more than $1 billion from firms controlled by Wanda’s founder, Wang Jianlin—news that sent its shares surging more than 30%, according to a Reuters report.
The company’s deal includes purchasing “the entire equity interest” in Wanda Culture Travel Innovation Group for 6.3 billion Chinese yuan ($945 million) and hotel operator Wanda Hotel Management for 750 million Chinese yuan ($112.6 million), according to the article. Wanda Hotel’s shares rose 40.5% to the highest level in more than two years.
Anbang to sell Waldorf, other foreign assets: Chinese authorities have advised Anbang Insurance Group to sell off its foreign assets, which include the currently closed Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, according to Top Hotel News. The company has purchased several foreign assets over the past three years. The foreign acquisitions have been “overshadowed” by surrounding controversy with its chairman, Wu Xiaohui.
The Waldorf Astoria, in particular, was a property “that put them on the map,” and if the sale happens, China has told the company that the funds must be sent back to China, the report states.
RLJ execs set to vote on FelCor deal: RLJ Lodging Trust shareholders are scheduled to vote 15 August on whether to purchase FelCor Lodging Trust, The Wall Street Journal reports, but the recent bid by a third party to acquire RLJ has introduced more uncertainty.
In June, RLJ was approached by a private-equity investor rumored to be Blackstone Group, which offered to buy RLJ for an all-cash offer of “20% premium to its share price,” The Journal reports. A spokeswoman for Blackstone Group declined to comment for the article.
Analysts advised that the offer would be more beneficial than RLJ’s proposed buy of FelCor. In regard to the alleged Blackstone offer, “shareholders can no longer trust that RLJ has their best interests in mind,” Green Street advisors said.
Hoteliers rethink pools on-property: While pools remain a staple in many hotels worldwide, an increasing number of hoteliers are now rethinking their properties' aquatic offerings in response to high cost factors, writes Hotel News Now contributor Brendan Manley. And some hotels are also abandoning pools to turn that space into more of a revenue generator.
“Pools are very popular with families and children, but many times hotel pools sit empty and are not in use. So you’re seeing some brands that are no longer requiring pools and are letting the owner choose whether to put them in or not,” said David Sangree, president of Hotel & Leisure Advisors, a consultancy which focuses significantly on waterparks. “It’s a difficult quandary, because when you don’t have a pool, there are people who will not choose you because of that. It’s hard to quantify the number of occupancy points you gain by having a pool.”
U.S., Canada hotel results for week ending 5 Augusts: The U.S. hotel industry recorded mostly negative results during the week of 30 July to 5 August, according to data from STR, parent company of Hotel News Now. Occupancy declined 1.5% to 74.5%, revenue per available room dropped 0.8% to $96.08 while average daily rate rose 0.7% to $129.
The Canadian hotel industry reported positive year-over-year results in the three key performance indicators during the week of 30 June to 5 August, according to STR data. Occupancy rose 2.7% to 78.2%, ADR increased 6.6% to 174.51 Canadian dollars ($137.30) and RevPAR was up 9.5% to CA$136.52 ($107.41).
Compiled by Dana Miller.