Choice Hotels Buys Radisson Hotel Group Americas

Choice Hotels Buys Radisson Hotel Group Americas

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In June 2022, it was announced that Choice Hotels would be acquiring Radisson Hotel Group Americas. I wanted to provide an update, as it has today been announced that this deal has closed.

While consolidation in the hotel industry usually isn’t good for consumers, given Radisson’s ownership structure, maybe this isn’t so bad?

Choice acquires Radisson Americas for $675 million

Choice Hotels has completed its acquisition of Radisson Hotel Group Americas for approximately $675 million. This sure moved along pretty quickly, as the deal closed less than two months after it was announced.

This purchase included acquiring the Radisson Americas franchise business, operations, and intellectual property. This will add nine new brands, 624 hotels, and over 67,000 rooms to Choice’s portfolio, across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The real estate value of three owned properties was also included in the transaction.

As it’s described, this greatly expands Choice’s presence in the upscale and upper-midscale hospitality segment, especially in the West Coast and Midwest of the United States. Choice believes this allows the brand to provide a more holistic product offering across segments.

Here’s how Choice Hotels CEO Patrick Pacious described the acquisition back in mid-June:

“Choice has a well-established history of smart acquisitions in new segments where our world-class franchising engine can spur future growth. This transaction brings together two highly complementary businesses, enhancing our guest offerings in the core upper-midscale hospitality segments, while extending our reach into the upper upscale and upscale full-service segments and in higher revenue geographic markets. We are confident that guests and franchisees will significantly benefit by combining these two exceptional sets of brands.”

“Our long track record of establishing mutually beneficial relationships with our franchisees has resulted in a best-in-class voluntary retention rate, and those franchisees are the source of a majority of our new hotel development. Our existing and new hotel owners will benefit from the improved business delivery capabilities of the combined companies, including our award-winning loyalty program, proprietary tools and emerging technologies that will enable them to capture more business, lower their hotel operating costs, reach new customers and respond to evolving industry trends.”

Choice has completed its Radisson Americas acquisition

The interesting implications of this acquisition

Historically Radisson was owned by Jin Jiang, which is a Chinese state-owned tourism and hospitality company based in Shanghai. The company’s ownership structure had posed some issues for global operations. In the summer of 2021 we saw the Radisson Rewards loyalty program split into two, with the launch of Radisson Rewards Americas.

The reason for this was interesting. Radisson was essentially owned by the Chinese government, and the United States government requires that companies limit the amount of information and data shared with the Chinese government.

Therefore Radisson’s loyalty program in the Americas was split off from the rest of the program, which certainly made it less seamless of a program.

The implications here sure are unusual, though, since Choice has only purchased the Radisson brand in the Americas. Even with the deal having closed, we still don’t have any clarity on what the future of the loyalty program will look like, as it’s currently business as usual. Will Radisson properties in the Americas be fully integrated into Choice Privileges, or will we see the Radisson Rewards Americas program continue?

If acquired Radisson brands are fully integrated into Choice Privileges, that would certainly be an odd branding situation, where Radisson properties in the Americas would participate in Choice Privileges, while others would participate in Radisson Rewards.

Bottom line

Choice Hotels has acquired Radisson Hotel Group Americas for around $675 million. This allows Choice to greatly expand its business in the Americas (especially in the upscale market), all while Radisson properties will be able to operate a bit more freely, given the China connection.

While the deal is now closed, I’m still curious to see how the loyalty program situation evolves, as nothing has been revealed yet.

What do you make of Choice’s acquisition of Radisson Americas?

Conversations (24)
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  1. Carl New Member

    Most Choice hotels are terrible. You only stay if you are in location where it's the only choice or everything else is sold out.

  2. KATA Member

    This reminds me of the time Hilton was split into two—Hilton and Hilton International... Hilton International hotels in the US were consequently operated as Vista Hotels whereas the overseas hotels operated by the American Hilton were branded as Conrad.

  3. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Huge missed opportunity for Hyatt.

    For what it’s worth, I believe the Choice hotels in the Nordic countries are pretty independent of Choice in North America. Personally, I would never stay at a Choice brand in North America.

    1. MG Guest

      It's like roulette, you never know what you will end up with with Choice.

  4. DLPTATL Guest

    Maybe I'm missing something, but in looking one can redeem Choice Points for Preferred Hotels and Resorts locations for 25-55k per night. This includes some really nice "independent" hotels in the US like The Hermitage in Nashville (my favorite hotel in the city), Condado Vanderbilt in San Juan, Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, and a lot of interesting hotels in Europe and Asia including quite a few in India. I agree it's hard to get...

    Maybe I'm missing something, but in looking one can redeem Choice Points for Preferred Hotels and Resorts locations for 25-55k per night. This includes some really nice "independent" hotels in the US like The Hermitage in Nashville (my favorite hotel in the city), Condado Vanderbilt in San Juan, Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, and a lot of interesting hotels in Europe and Asia including quite a few in India. I agree it's hard to get excited about the Radisson Bismarck, but there seems to be a lot more than I was aware existed. Also the CC issued by Barclay is a no annual fee card with a current sign-up bonus of 32k points for $1k spend. Sadly no annual points like the old Radisson card equal to more than the fee.

  5. DLPTATL Guest

    I worked for Radisson's reservation call center many MANY years ago one summer while I was in college. 95% of the people calling to book rooms back then were looking for Radisson Country Inn & Suites near highways on road-trips. Nothing fancy, just a clean room, free breakfast, and back on the road the next morning.

    It's unfortunate that they split from the nicer properties (Raddison Blu's and Radissons) in Europe because that's where...

    I worked for Radisson's reservation call center many MANY years ago one summer while I was in college. 95% of the people calling to book rooms back then were looking for Radisson Country Inn & Suites near highways on road-trips. Nothing fancy, just a clean room, free breakfast, and back on the road the next morning.

    It's unfortunate that they split from the nicer properties (Raddison Blu's and Radissons) in Europe because that's where the somewhat aspirational uses of points existed, but given the politics involved it makes sense.

  6. Peter Guest

    While Radisson is absolutely inconsistent in the US and Canada, that doesn’t mean all its properties are bad. It’s my understanding that Choice still follows an award chart, so with Amex and ThankYou as transfer partners there could be situations where this is a good value. I might not ever want to stay at a Quality Inn, but most Country Inns are still pretty nice.

  7. Points Adventure Guest

    >> As it’s described, this greatly expands Choice’s presence in the upscale and upper-midscale hospitality segment, especially in the West Coast and Midwest of the United States. <<

    What "upscale" properties does Radisson have in the west coast?

  8. Adobo Guest

    "especially in the upscale market..."

    Srsly?!?!?

  9. Rob Guest

    Gross. Two chains that I honestly wonder why anyone would stay at either in the USA.

  10. Ed Guest

    Lucky,
    Where are you keeping your Radisson points?

  11. Franz Guest

    I wouldn’t stay at a single Choice property in the United States before this news and I’m unlikely to stay at a single Choice property in the United States after this announcement. Just as Choice has some great European properties — think Sweden or Norway — so does Radisson. Unfortunately, both brands pretty much suck domestically. I don’t ever remember full-service Radisson properties ever being a viable option for me in the United States, except...

    I wouldn’t stay at a single Choice property in the United States before this news and I’m unlikely to stay at a single Choice property in the United States after this announcement. Just as Choice has some great European properties — think Sweden or Norway — so does Radisson. Unfortunately, both brands pretty much suck domestically. I don’t ever remember full-service Radisson properties ever being a viable option for me in the United States, except a couple of mediocre cities with old full-service Radissons. I would rather stay at Best Western than Choice.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      You should stick to Four Seasons.

  12. Deborah Guest

    Hmmm, what to do with the points. Currently they reside in my Americas account but I primarily book hotels in Europe.

    1. Mike1977 Guest

      I had the same issue and I can tell you what I did. You will open up a Radisson rewards international program account and then you can call and have your points moved over to the international plan. Nothing about it is easy but it’s the way to keep your points available for international bookings. Otherwise you’ll be stuck with just American options.

    2. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      Yeah--I've been saving them for a Nordic trip at some point. Better move them before they become Choice points.

    3. T. Jones Guest

      Nordic Choice has a lot of great properties, and I was considering hanging onto my Radisson points for the very reason you want to use yours. What am I missing?

    4. Anita Guest

      I recently transferred 60K from Americas to International online, and it actually was easy. I did have to get a Radisson Intl. account. Can transfer up to 1 million in one transaction.

    5. Christian Guest

      Why call? The points transfer can be done online in seconds! I transferred 85% of my Radisson points to the International program since I typically will only use Radisson in Europe and have no real interest in Choice.,,,especially since they only have a short timeframe for booking award rooms.

    6. Christian Guest

      I'm in the same situation...a ton of points in the US program since the split even though most earned from stays in Europe (prior to split) and via the US credit card. I also really only stay in Radisson's in Europe and the US portfolio never really interested me. Choice isn't appealing to me and I don't want to be forced to use points in the US and just the limited international Choice options. I...

      I'm in the same situation...a ton of points in the US program since the split even though most earned from stays in Europe (prior to split) and via the US credit card. I also really only stay in Radisson's in Europe and the US portfolio never really interested me. Choice isn't appealing to me and I don't want to be forced to use points in the US and just the limited international Choice options. I will wait a while but will likely transfer my balance to my International RR account (which also has points in it since all European stays after the split got credited to that account.)

  13. MG Guest

    Radisson will fit in perfectly with one of the more inconsistent franchise/chains (at least in the US). You never know what you are going to get in terms of quality/cleanliness.

  14. CJ Guest

    When Radisson split into two, I was wondering how well they would independently survive. Then USBank severed their credit card relationship with Radisson Americas. I do find all of this odd that Choice didn't end up will all of Radisson versus just the Americas.

  15. JC Guest

    @Lucky I was wondering the same thing as to whether the properties would be integrated into Choice Privileges or kept in a separate Radisson Rewards program since as you said if integrated that would mean some Radisson hotels would earn choice points and others would earn Radisson Rewards points. I am wondering whether we might not see the properties get integrated into Choice Privileges and then there is the ability to transfer points between Radisson...

    @Lucky I was wondering the same thing as to whether the properties would be integrated into Choice Privileges or kept in a separate Radisson Rewards program since as you said if integrated that would mean some Radisson hotels would earn choice points and others would earn Radisson Rewards points. I am wondering whether we might not see the properties get integrated into Choice Privileges and then there is the ability to transfer points between Radisson Rewards and Choice Privileges similar to how Radisson Rewards and Radisson Rewards Americas does it today. This would make the most sense since the press release mentioned Choice looking forward to working with Radisson (Radisson Rewards) after the deal closes.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      I'm actually thinking the opposite. No transfer between Choice and Radisson global.

      Now I have to decide to keep them as Radisson global points or convert them to Choice.

      It will be a branding nightmare for sure, even worse than now.

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Carl New Member

Most Choice hotels are terrible. You only stay if you are in location where it's the only choice or everything else is sold out.

0
KATA Member

This reminds me of the time Hilton was split into two—Hilton and Hilton International... Hilton International hotels in the US were consequently operated as Vista Hotels whereas the overseas hotels operated by the American Hilton were branded as Conrad.

0
Christian Guest

Why call? The points transfer can be done online in seconds! I transferred 85% of my Radisson points to the International program since I typically will only use Radisson in Europe and have no real interest in Choice.,,,especially since they only have a short timeframe for booking award rooms.

0
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