Choice Hotels Buys Radisson Hotel Group Americas

Choice Hotels Buys Radisson Hotel Group Americas

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There’s some consolidation coming to the hotel industry. While hotel consolidation generally isn’t good for consumers, given Radisson’s ownership structure, maybe this isn’t so bad?

Choice acquiring Radisson Americas for $675 million

A definitive agreement has been reached for Choice Hotels to acquire Radisson Hotel Group Americas for approximately $675 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022, pending regulatory approval.

This purchase includes acquiring the Radisson Americas franchise business, operations, and intellectual property. This will add nine new brands, 624 hotels, and over 68,000 rooms to Choice’s portfolio, across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

As it’s described, this will greatly expand 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 will allow the brand to provide a more holistic product offering across segments.

Here’s how Choice Hotels CEO Patrick Pacious describs this acquisition:

“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.”

The interesting implications of this deal

Radisson is currently owned by Jin Jiang, which is a Chinese state-owned tourism and hospitality company based in Shanghai. The company’s ownership structure has 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 is interesting. Radisson is essentially owned by the Chinese government, and the United States government is requiring 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 is only purchasing the Radisson brand in the Americas. I’m curious to see if Radisson properties will be fully integrated into Choice Privileges, or if we see the Radisson Rewards Americas program continue.

If acquired Radisson brands are fully integrated into Choice Privileges, that means Radisson properties in the Americas would participate in Choice Privileges, while others would participate in Radisson Rewards.

Bottom line

Choice Hotels is acquiring Radisson Hotel Group Americas for around $675 million. This will allow 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.

I’m curious about the logistics of this deal when it comes to loyalty programs. Otherwise the brands seem to have largely complementary portfolios.

What do you make of Choice acquiring Radisson Americas?

Conversations (13)
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  1. Ed Guest

    Lucky,
    Where are you keeping your Radisson points?

  2. 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.

  3. 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

      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.)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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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Ed Guest

Lucky, Where are you keeping your Radisson points?

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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 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.)

0
Eskimo Guest

You should stick to Four Seasons.

0
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