From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Anbang buys (most of) Strategic Hotels & Resorts
- Lodging Conference kicks off in Phoenix
- UNITE HERE pushing Trump boycott
- Moody’s claims sharing economy hurting hotels
- Playa files for $100m IPO, but that could grow
Anbang buys (most of) Strategic Hotels & Resorts: Anbang Insurance Group has closed on its acquisition of most of Strategic Hotels & Resorts’ properties, according to a report from Bloomberg citing anonymous sources. The Beijing-based insurer announced a deal to buy the real estate investment trust from The Blackstone Group for $6.5 billion in March before engaging in a bidding war with Marriott International over Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
The Bloomberg report claims that Anbang has closed on “15 of Strategic’s 16 properties.” Bloomberg claims this is the second-largest acquisition of U.S. assets by a Chinese buyer, lagging behind only Shuanghui International Holdings’ $7-billion purchase of Smithfield Foods in 2013.
Lodging Conference kicks off in Phoenix: Hoteliers seemed to be accepting the reality of slow but steady growth during the first day of The Lodging Conference, according to a report from Hotel News Now staff at the event.
Editorial director Jeff Higley writes that there seem to be storm clouds hanging over the industry, but no solid signs that it’s really about to pour.
“Attendees of the Lodging Conference are casting wary glances toward the future of their businesses hoping to avoid an unforeseen storm that could sidetrack their endeavors. That vibe translates into more uncertainty than the industry has seen since those stormy days of 2010 and 2011,” Higley said.
UNITE HERE pushing Trump boycott: A bargaining dispute involving workers at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas has spurred UNITE HERE to call for a national boycott of businesses connected with Donald Trump, according to a news release from the union.
Workers at that hotel voted in December to join the Culinary Union—a division of UNITE HERE—but claim Trump officials have not honored their “legal duty to bargain with the union.”
“They voted to unionize, they won, and now the law says Trump must negotiate,” UNITE HERE President D. Taylor said in the release.
Trump officials have not responded to a request for comment as of the time of publication.
Moody’s claims sharing economy hurting hotels: Analysts with Moody’s Investor Service believe the sharing economy is taking a bite out of the hotel industry as growth begins to slow, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
Concerns over sharing economy growth—particularly Airbnb—outpacing the hotel sector has spurred the company to revise its outlook down, but Moody’s noted the impact seems to be confined to just certain markets, with New York City hit more negatively than Los Angeles.
Playa files for $100m IPO, but that could grow: Playa Hotels & Resorts officials have announced they plan to seek an initial public offering of ordinary shares and have made initial filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to that end, according to a news release from the company.
While the news release said the company has not decided on the price or amount of shares for sale, an analysis from Renaissance Capital claims the SEC filings show Playa officials plan to raise $100 million in their IPO. Renaissance also opines that the $100-million figure could just be a placeholder, and the company could be seeking as much as $300 million when it is all said and done.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.