Minor International edges closer to NH Hotel Group takeover with €619mn deal for HNA Group stake
Minor International in lining up the full acquisition of NH Hotel Group after purchasing an additional 25.2% stake in the Spanish company for €619mn.
Thailand-based Minor revealed its plans on Wednesday having completed a deal for the extra shareholding previously held by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, taking its current total stake in NH Hotel Group to approximately 38%.
By moving beyond a 30% stake in the company, Minor is now eligible under Spanish law to launch a takeover bid – something it plans to do within the next few months.
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NH rejected a similar approach from rival Grupo Barcelo earlier this year however and any completion is subject to the approvals of Minor’s shareholders, the National Securities Market Commission of Spain (CNMV) and clearance by relevant anti-trust authorities.
The share purchase from HNA Group will be in two tranches of 65.85mn shares to be completed on or around 15 June and 32.94mn shares, expected to be completed in September. HNA is selling as part of a wider divestment of assets through which it hopes to complete debt repayments.
“Today we are embarking on a new era, driving investment strategy to further cement our footprint in the European hospitality industry,” said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotels.
“We will be able to create a network of over 540 hotels with a reach across Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, all of which are important hospitality regions around the world. The business network will allow the two companies to capitalise on our leadership positions in key growth areas, highly complementary asset and brand portfolio, technology platform and talented employees.”
Recruitment survey shows struggle to fill hospitality jobs
Hospitality and food businesses are hiring and wages are rising, but employers are facing the biggest deterioration in the availability of candidates to fill new roles in the sector, for more than two decades.
A monthly report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said the reopening of the economy has led to an increase in hiring in the hospitality and food sectors but the high demand for workers is not being met.
A return to normal requires more workers
The steady return to more normal business operations has led to greater demand for staff . As businesses move back into their offices, or begin hybrid working between home and the workplace, there is a need to be filled for tea breaks, caffeine fixes and working lunches. The hospitality and food sectors and trying to fill the vacancies:
- Permanent staff appointments expanded at the quickest rate since 1997
- Temp billings growth hit the highest for nearly 23 years
- Permanent appointments growth hit a series record
At the same time, vacancy growth hit a new series record.
The availability of workers declined at an unprecedented rate, driven by faster falls in the supply of both temporary and permanent staff.
As a result, rates of starting pay rose rapidly at the end of the second quarter.
Improved business confidence leading recovery
The report is compiled by IHS Markit, from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.
“Recruiters are working flat out to fill roles across our economy”, said Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC. “The jobs market is improving at the fastest pace we have ever seen, but it is still an unpredictable time. We can’t yet tell how much the ending of furlough and greater candidate confidence will help to meet this rising demand for staff. In some key shortage sectors like hospitality and food, more support is likely to be needed to avoid slowing the recovery. That means supporting transitions into growing sectors through unemployment support and new skills programmes, as well as making sure the new immigration system reacts to demand.”
“June’s data confirms that momentum in the jobs market continues to surge, with improved business confidence leading to record high recruitment activity”, said Claire Warnes, Partner and Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK. “As we move towards the final easing of pandemic restrictions, permanent role availability increased at the quickest rate since the survey began in 1997 and temporary roles rose to the greatest extent for 23-and-a-half years. But for the fourth month running we’re seeing a decline in the availability of candidates to fill all these new roles and the most severe deterioration for 24 years. We need action from businesses and government to reskill and upskill furloughed and prospective workers now more than ever, as the increasing skills gap in the workforce has the potential to slow the UK’s economic recovery.”