Accor will sell its North American economy hotels division to an affiliate of The Blackstone Group for a value of $1.9 billion, reports HotelNewsNow.com’s Shawn A. Turner. The sale includes Accor’s Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands and comprises 1,102 hotels (107,347 rooms) in the U.S. and Canada.
“I am delighted by the transaction signed with Blackstone, which ensures the future of Motel 6 and its teams in North America, where we will remain present with luxury and upscale flagships under the Sofitel and Novotel brands,” said Denis Hennequin, Chairman and CEO of Accor, in a statement.
Blackstone plans to invest significant capital in the properties and to accelerate the expansion of the franchise base, said Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone, in the release.
The deal is the largest in the U.S. hotel industry since the $3.93-billion acquisition of Extended Stay America in 2010, which also included Blackstone, according to Reuters. Blackstone also purchased U.K.-based Mint Hotels in September for $950 million.
Hospitality Properties Trust, a real-estate investment trust that owns 290 hotel properties with approximately 43,000 rooms, will rebrand 20 InterContinental Hotels Group properties to Wyndham flags, the company said in a news release Tuesday.
Four of the hotels will be branded as Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and 16 will be branded as Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham hotels. All 20 will be managed by Wyndham Hotel Group under a long-term contract.
Wyndham Hotel Group has agreed to pay HPT an owner's priority from the operating results of these hotels of $770,000 per month. In turn, HPT has agreed to provide up to $75 million for refurbishment and rebranding of the 20 hotels.
There is one combined management contract for all 20 hotels. The management contract term will be 25 years.
The 20 hotels are some of the hotels HPT identified to be sold or rebranded when the REIT announced the re-alignment of its contracts with IHG in July.
Thirteen additional IHG hotels remain targeted for rebranding, as HPT previously stated it planned to rebrand 39 IHG hotels, said Robert W. Baird Analyst David Loeb in a research note. Six former IHG properties have already been converted or are in the process of being converted to the Sonesta brand.
B Hotels & Resorts announced Monday the launch of a new b2 hotel concept..
Headquartered in South Florida, b2 will feature the signature elements of its sister B brand, which includes in its portfolio the B Ocean Fort Lauderdale and the B South Beach. B2 properties will compete with 3- and 3.5-star hotels in a more diverse roster of urban and suburban markets nationwide, the company said.
The first b2 location will be announced “in the coming weeks,” the company said.
Business travel spending in China is forecast to increase by 17% to $202 billion in 2012 and 21% to $245 billion in 2013, according to a study by the Global Business Travel Association.
Other highlights of the GBTA’s Business Travel Index Outlook–China:
• Growth in international outbound travel spending is expected to be particularly strong, rising by 27% in 2013.
• During the past 10 years, the four largest airports have doubled in size and there are plans in place for more than 100 new hotels in the next decade.
• Business travel has evolved into a key contributor and benefactor of the Chinese economic growth, showing strong correlations with economic indicators.
• China is ranked second in the business travel market, according to the GBTA findings, but is forecast to surpass the U.S. by as early as 2015.
• Real gross domestic product in China is forecast to increase by 8.2% and 8.9% in 2012 and 2013, respectively
Two of six lawsuits filed in 2009 by shareholders over the decline of MGM Resorts International’s stock price were dismissed this week by Clark County District Court, according to Vegas Inc. Four related suits remain active in federal court.
The shareholders complained in the state court lawsuits against MGM Resorts directors that company officials harmed MGM Resorts and its shareholders by disseminating misleading and inaccurate information about its financial condition and prospects in 2007 and 2008.
They claimed company officials routinely reported MGM Resorts was in sound financial shape without revealing it was headed toward a credit crunch in 2009 because of problems tied to the construction of CityCenter. These problems weren’t revealed in a timely fashion, the shareholders charged, because MGM Resorts insiders were in the midst of selling nearly $81.5 million of their stock in the company while it traded at high prices.
During this period, the stock price fell from $99.75 in October 2007 to $1.89 in March 2009. The stock price has since rebounded to the $10.35 range.
Compiled by Jason Q. Freed.