5 things to know: 9 October 2017
5 things to know: 9 October 2017
09 OCTOBER 2017 9:23 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • AccorHotels in bid to take over Australia-based Mantra
  • Singapore REIT makes bid to fully acquire M&C Hotels
  • Hoteliers see mostly good in tax-reform proposal
  • Wynn Resorts CEO discusses hotel security in wake of shooting
  • Hotel Stock Index shows big gains in September

AccorHotels in bid to take over Australia-based Mantra: AccorHotels is pursuing a non-binding takeover of Mantra Group, Australia’s second-largest hotel operator of small- and medium-sized assets, according to a statement by Mantra posted to the Australia Stock Exchange and reported by Australian media, including The Sydney Morning Herald. AccorHotels reportedly bid $1.2 billion Australian dollars ($930 million).

Mantra Group owns and operates more than 125 hotels, representing more than 20,000 rooms, mostly in Australia, but also including properties in Indonesia and Hawaii. One of the largest hotel operators in the world, AccorHotels has 4,200 hotels, including properties in Australia under its Sofitel, Novotel, Grand Mercure, Mercure and IBIS brands.

The deal is not yet done. In its statement, Mantra emphasized that any proposal agreed upon by board of directors at Mantra and AccorHotels would be “subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions to be determined.”

HNN’s Terence Baker reports on what this proposal, and another in the region by Singapore’s City Developments Limited (details below), might mean for the Asia/Pacific hotel industry.

Singapore REIT makes bid to fully acquire M&C Hotels: Singapore-based real estate investment trust City Developments Limited has made a a £1.794-billion ($2.36 billion) bid to acquire Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, which operates 190 hotels in 22 countries, according to a statement posted today. CDL already owns a 65% stake in M&C.

According to the statement, “CDL confirms that it intends to maintain M&C’s current business model, in particular to run the business as an owner and operator of its hotel portfolio. CDL also confirms it has no intention to sell or repurpose any of M&C’s hotels in London or in New York.”

Hoteliers see mostly good in tax-reform proposal: The benefits of a tax-reform plan being pushed by the Trump administration include an economic climate that should help businesses to grow the workforce, hotel executives told HNN’s Bryan Wroten.

One example of how the plan will benefit the hotel industry, said Navin Shah, chairman of Royal Hotel Investments, is by making it easier for companies to bring home profits made overseas. Under the plan, he said, companies will not have to pay taxes to both the U.S. and the foreign countries they operate in.

“This tax change would free up billions of dollars that are now sitting unproductively overseas, but instead would be invested here,” he said.

Wynn Resorts CEO discusses hotel security in wake of shooting: Wynn Resorts’ “policy of checking on hotel guests who do not leave their rooms and ask not to be disturbed for more than 12 consecutive hours … may or may not have prevented” last week’s shooting from a guestroom on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Wynn’s CEO Steve Wynn said in an interview broadcast by Fox News Sunday and reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Wynn, the first Las Vegas hotel and casino executive to publicly discuss security policies in the wake of the shooting, said nothing else about gunman Stephen Paddock gave any indication of his plans to kill concertgoers at an outdoor event overlooked by the hotel, according to Wynn Resorts’ employees who knew him.

“This sounds like someone totally demented, which he never evidenced, or someone who’s sending a message,” Wynn said. “We don’t know what that message is, or if there is one, but this behavior, according to my employees, is as stunning, as unexpected as any of them have ever (seen from anyone they had) met.”

Security experts told HNN’s Bryan Wroten that, following the Las Vegas shooting, there are options but no clear path forward for changes to hotel security.

Hotel Stock Index shows big gains in September: The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index closed out at 4,318 in September, up 5.3% year over year and 16.6% year to date, according to a news release by STR, parent company of Hotel News Now.

“Hotel stocks posted solid gains in September as investors bid up more economically sensitive sectors, including both the hotel brand companies and the hotel REITs,” said Michael Bellisario, senior hotel research analyst and VP at Baird. “Higher interest rates, improved prospects for potential tax reform and expected hurricane-related demand tailwinds helped stocks easily outperform their benchmarks last month. Fundamentals have remained steady, but investors have extended their investment time horizons and are more optimistic about next year’s growth prospects.”

Compiled by Robert McCune.

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