HNA Group is a massive Chinese conglomerate that has stakes in all kinds of travel brands. This includes about a dozen Chinese airlines, as well as major international hotel brands.
For a while they were investing like crazy, and now they’re selling assets like crazy. This is because they’ve had a hard time securing new financing, leaving them in a rough financial situation.
Several weeks ago I wrote about how HNA Group might be looking to sell their stake in Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which has since been rebranded as Radisson. This is a stake they bought just a couple of years ago.
When I wrote about the potential for a sale I wondered if Hyatt might be interested in acquiring Radisson. We know that they’ve really struggled to grow, and all of their competitors have been acquiring competitors. Meanwhile Hyatt is left with a global footprint that simply isn’t competitive with “the big guys.”
We now know that Radisson is being sold, though it’s not to Hyatt. Bloomberg is reporting that HNA Group is selling their stake in Radisson to Jin Jiang International Holding Co., which is controlled by the Shanghai government and also owns a 12% stake in Accor.
The value for the sale hasn’t been disclosed, though it’s suspected to be somewhere around $2 billion.
While Jin Jiang International isn’t a majority shareholder with Accor, it will be interesting to see if this eventually leads to some sort of further cooperation between Accor and Radisson. In many ways those two companies are very similar, so I could see something eventually happening there.
This is unfortunate for Hyatt, though, in my opinion. It’s not that we ever had a reputable reason to believe Hyatt would take over Radisson, other than their stated desire to grow. But with Radisson being sold, that seems to leave them with few acquisition targets at the moment.
On the plus side, as a customer I’m excited about Hyatt’s upcoming partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World. I’m just hoping that there’s some substance to the partnership (that earning rates are the same as at other Hyatts, that redemption rates are reasonable, and that maybe there are even some elite perks). I don’t think this partnership will help them achieve any big revenue goals they have since it’s essentially just a marketing partnership, but for members it’s a big development.
(Tip of the hat to Simon)