5 things to know: 24 October 2016
5 things to know: 24 October 2016
24 OCTOBER 2016 9:27 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • China’s HNA buys 25% stake in Hilton for $6.5b
  • UK’s Arora Group secures £175m refinancing
  • New York signs ‘anti-Airbnb’ housing bill
  • Churchill war office developer reveals more hotel color
  • STR publishes US Q3 performance data

China’s HNA buys 25% stake in Hilton for $6.5b: HNA Group has agreed to acquire approximately 25% of Hilton Worldwide Holdings from affiliates of private equity group Blackstone, according to Hilton Worldwide Holdings. The approximately $6.5-billion deal establishes “a long-term strategic investment in Hilton and Hilton’s planned spin-offs of Park Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations.”

According to a news release, the company announced that the deal reduces Blackstone’s share to approximately 21%. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

U.K.’s Arora Group secures £175m refinancing: The Arora Group has secured a refinancing loan for £175 million ($214 million) from financing company Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets. Arora, which operates airport hotels in the United Kingdom, also just opened the InterContinental London – The O2 at entertainment facility O2 Arena.

The refinancing has a time span of 15 years, according to PropertyEU.

New York signs “anti-Airbnb” housing bill: After New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill that imposes hefty fines on sharing-economy hosts guilty of breaking local housing regulations, The New York Times reports Airbnb intends to sue the state because it claims the new legislation will “cause it irreparable harm” and “violates (its) constitutional rights to free speech and due process.”

According to the newspaper, the bill permits “authorities to fine hosts up to $7,500 if they are caught listing a property on a rental platform such as Airbnb.” It has been illegal in New York since 2010 to rent out a whole apartment for fewer than 30 days.

Churchill war office developer reveals more hotel color: The development of Winston Churchill’s London war offices into a luxury hotel, which was reported by Hotel News Now almost two years ago, has moved closer to reality. More details now are being revealed by the developer, according to London newspaper The Evening Standard.

The 1906, grade II-listed Old War Office on Whitehall, close to Parliament and Big Ben, will have 125 rooms, a ballroom for 600 guests, a spa and a 25-meter (80-foot) pool in a total space of 580,000 square feet. The project is valued at £1 billion ($1.22 billion) and was designed by London-based architecture firm EPR.

The property’s owners are India-based Hinduja Group and Spain-based OHL Desarrollos. No opening date has been announced, and the hotel’s owners have not yet named a management group.

STR publishes US Q3 performance data: According to STR, the parent company of HNN, the U.S. hotel industry had positive results in the third quarter of 2016, compared with the same period in 2015. Average daily rate rose 3.4% to $127.19 and revenue per available room increased by 3.3% to $90.48. Occupancy, meanwhile, remained flat at 71.1%.

Analysts at STR said that flat occupancy was a result of U.S. supply rising in the period by 1.6% while demand grew by exactly the same rate.

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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