Choice Ends Hostile Bid For Wyndham Hotels

By Reuters
Choice Ends Hostile Bid For Wyndham Hotels

Choice Hotels International has terminated its hostile bid for rival Wyndham Hotels & Resorts after failing to gather enough support from the target's shareholders, the company said on Monday.

The company will also withdraw its nomination of independent director candidates for election at Wyndham's 2024 annual meeting.

'Not Suffient'

Shares of Wyndham fell 4.5% before the bell, while those of Choice were up 3%. Wyndham shares have gained about 10% since the bid was made public in October.

'While the support from Wyndham stockholders tendering into the exchange offer was significant considering the number of investors structurally prevented from participating at this stage, it was not sufficient for Choice to conclude that a path towards a transaction is available at this time,' Choice said.

Choice, which began takeover talks with Wyndham in April 2023, went public with its cash-and-stock offer in October, then valued at about $8 billion (€7.3 billion), to combine two of the biggest US budget hotel operators as travel demand normalises.


Hostile Bid

It launched a hostile bid in December, after Wyndham repeatedly rebuffed its approaches, saying that the offer was low-premium and fraught with antitrust risk. Wyndham also raised concerns about the combined company carrying too much debt and a slowdown in Choice's business.

In an attempt to break the stalemate, Choice, in January, nominated a slate of directors to replace Wyndham's eight-member board.

Higher Valuation

Wyndham has said that it could achieve a higher valuation on its own, projecting compounded annual growth in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of between 7% and 10% through 2026. Its adjusted EBITDA growth had reached 6%, the company recently said.

Ending the takeover bid could result in an upside for Choice, Jefferies analyst David Katz wrote in a note, upgrading the budget hotel operator to "buy" from "underperform".

Repurchase Program

"Choice's shares now revert to strong lodging fundamentals as the deal risk is mitigated," said Katz.

Choice said on Monday its board had authorised an increase of 5 million shares to its repurchase program.