Radisson Might Be Up For Sale — Could Hyatt Or Accor Be Interested?

Filed Under: Hotels

Just over two years ago it was announced that HNA Group would be acquiring a majority stake in Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group (which has since been rebranded as Radisson). This was at a time when HNA Group seemed to be on a buying spree, as they bought all kinds of businesses, including many in the travel industry.

Unfortunately HNA Group has racked up huge debt after all of the investing they did, so they’ve been trying to sell assets as much as possible. It looks like Radisson may be the next asset that they’re looking to offload.

Bloomberg reports that HNA Group is exploring a sale of Radisson Hotel Group, according to people familiar with the matter. They’ve allegedly been gauging interest from rival hotel chains and other potential buyers. It remains to be seen if this will lead to a sale or not, though it looks like it’s very much being explored.

Radisson has more than 1,400 hotels around the world, across eight different brands. In the US they have mostly limited service properties (though they’re trying to change their image in the US by adding more full service properties), and they also have a huge portfolio of hotels in Europe, which is where they’re strongest.

We’ve seen a lot of consolidation in the hotel industry in the past several years, as Marriott has acquired Starwood, IHG has acquired Kimpton, Accor has acquired Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel, and more.

Given all of this consolidation, I’d say Hyatt as a brand has largely been left behind. They haven’t been part of any of this major consolidation, and most of their newly opened properties are limited service. So if there were a hotel brand that would be interested in Radisson, Hyatt is the first that comes to mind, as it could roughly triple their number of properties overnight.

Now, personally I don’t think Radisson’s properties are a great fit for the Hyatt portfolio. But these mergers aren’t always logical in terms of how complementary brands are to one another (just look at Alaska and Virgin America). Sometimes it’s just about market share.

The other possibility that comes to mind is Accor taking over Radisson. Their portfolios seem better suited for one another, though on the other hand that also means they have a lot of overlap.

I’ll be curious to see how this plays out. Given HNA’s financial struggles I imagine they’re going to have to sell here, so the question is whether Radisson is taken over by another hotel company, or if they’ll just find outside investors.

Is there a hotel brand that you’d like to see take over Radisson?

(Tip of the hat to @dw_bk)

  1. Interesting that this suggestion about Hyatt was posted on flyertalk back in February. Maybe it’ll actually happen? I could definitely see Hyatt being a good fit with some smoothing out the Radisson edges.

  2. Almost all Hyatt place hotels are nicer than Radisson. Hyatt is known for quality over quantity, and it shows. If I’m Hyatt, I stay the course and continue the growing brands of Park Hyatt, the Unbound Collection, and leader of 3 star hotel market, Hyatt Place.

  3. I think this could be a big win for Hyatt. As nice as their hotels are, their footprint is very, very poor. There are, of course, some long in the tooth Raddison properties, but most could be slotted into one of the existing Hyatt brands or, more likely, they could simply retain the existing Raddison, Country Inn, Park Inn, etc, flags. I think we’d certainly see the end of Raddison Blu branding and I can’t help but think the Park Inn/Park Plaza branded locations could mostly be updated to Hyatt Place flagged locations, which could be a big brand awareness win for Hyatt in Europe.

  4. Hyatt has to make a move. IHG, SPG/Marriott, Accor, have a significantly bigger footprint than Hyatt. It’s the main reason I moved over to Marriott because of the bigger footprint. Look at LA County. 9 hotels for Hyatt. 60+ hotels for SPG/Marriott.

  5. It makes sense for Hyatt but really only because Hyatt has been mostly frozen out to date. It’s just not viable for them to “do nothing” so likely feel they are now forced “to do something.” That said, acquiring Radisson doesn’t seem to me to be a good portfolio fit for the Hyatt branding message/image. Also, given HNA’s balance sheet issues, they are likely going to want some sort of all cash deal for Radisson. That in turn, depending on the acquisition price, could add an excessive amount of debt leverage to Hyatt’s balance sheet. The history of these deals to date has been that buyers are consistently over-paying.

  6. I’m not quite sure which part will be sold. Technically, there is a US based (Radisson Hospitality Inc.) and a EU based (Radisson Hospitality AB) entity, which do not control each other but only have a strategic alliance … Each property belongs to one or the other.

    Given Hyatt’s focus on the US (plus a few A cities globally), perhaps the US based entity would make sense in their portfolio, but clearly not EU one (which actually has a lot of non-US B and C cities in the portfolio). The EU entity would definitely make more sense for Accor, although there would be a considerable overlap between their existing portfolio and the one of Radission AB.

  7. I disagree re the fit; at least for Radisson brand in Europe. So many countries without a Hyatt presence

  8. I am sure Starriott would not mind adding 8 more brand to their portfolio of 29 (?) Remember, Heintz with 57 varieties? Starriot is not even close.
    Also, Hilton and IHG could be interested.

  9. I have a lot of Radisson points so anyone other than Accor would be my vote as I hate this program! I actually do think it would be a good fit for Hyatt. It would give them a large international presence and in the US where Radisson is big with their CI&S it could complement Hyatt Place nicely. With Hyatt Place and CI&S together under Hyatt they would have a decent number of mid-segment hotel allowing them to compete better with Marriott, Hilton and HI in that segment.

  10. Hi lucky,
    Can you elaborate on Radisson not fitting Hyatt?
    Most Radisson Blu I’ve stayed in could be easily fit the Hyatt family (e.g. Berlin, Cebu, Yerevan, Oslo)
    They would not be Park Hyatt, I’ll give you that, but still would fit one of the other Hyatt brands

  11. Accor just bought half of SBE/Morgans/SLS in the past few hours and Movenpick in the last few weeks. Of course that doesn’t mean they won’t make a move again, if anything they seem to be gaining momentum.

  12. Like many others, would love to see Hyatt’s footprint increase. Acquisition costs & additional spend on property renovations would be worth it – if Hyatt is interested in portfolio expansion. As other chains have done, expenses could be offset by selling off a few multi-million dollar properties in areas where they already have good coverage (i.e. Bay Area, NYC, Paris & London).

  13. I would be happy for Accor to take it….if they keep the branded credit card. The chance to earn for both stays and spend, and redeem at Raffles, Fairmont, Banyan Tree, M Gallery, Pullman, and some of the Sofitel properties would be a pleasure…and could move a lot of my business from Marriott & Hyatt.

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