Thailand's Minor Int'l Confident Bid For Spanish Hotel Group NH will succeed
Thai hotels operator Minor International Pcl is confident of successfully acquiring Spanish hotel company NH Hotel Group SA by boosting its stake to 55%-65%, Minor's chief executive told Reuters.
Minor, owner of luxury hotel Anantara Siam in Bangkok, launched Thailand's biggest overseas hospitality takeover for NH earlier this month, valuing the Spanish hotel chain at €2.5 billion.
Some of NH's investors were already "locked in" to sell their stakes to Minor, one of Thailand's biggest hospitality companies, CEO William Heinecke said in an interview.
The Thai company has agreed to buy from China's HNA, NH's biggest shareholder, a 26.5% stake. Minor currently owns 29.8% of NH.
"We have a few commitments that will take place as soon as we have approval," Heinecke said, adding that these would bring Minor's shareholding in the Spanish company to nearly 39%.
After the firm crosses the 30% ownership threshold, Spanish law requires a full takeover be launched.
"We are anticipating we're going to get somewhere between 55-65%," Heinecke said.
A rival bid for NH is unlikely because Minor had already accrued a large stake, Heinecke said. NH rejected a bid from Grupo Barcelo in January because it was an asset exchange and not cash.
The US-born Thai billionaire has been on a shopping spree since 2010 and has expanded Minor's hospitality footprint in South Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa. He was able to take advantage of the boom in tourism, which accounts for around 12 percent of Thailand's gross domestic product.
Minor owns and operates more than 150 hotels and resorts under brands including Four Seasons and Marriott. In 2016, it bought 14 hotels from Portugal's Tivoli.
Minor is still "acquisitive" and was on the lookout for deals in the hotel and food industry, Heinecke said.
Forbes ranks Heinecke as Thailand's 17th richest man, with an estimated net worth of $1.64 billion, mainly derived from his family's 33% stake in Minor, which has a market value of around $5 billion.
Heinecke, 69, made his fortune bringing in western-style service restaurants such as Pizza Hut and Mister Donut to the country.