Spain's NH Hoteles has received a preliminary offer from US private equity firm KKR to buy bonds that can be converted into shares of the debt-laden hotel chain. NH Hoteles, Europe's third largest business hotel operator based on rooms, has long been tipped as a private equity target given its large debt and that of its savings bank shareholders, which together own nearly a third of the firm.
Spanish savings banks, or Cajas, have been viewed as unstable shareholders given mounting pressure to sell their equity stakes to meet new capital requirements ahead of a European rescue fund for the banking sector.
Meanwhile, NH Hoteles, with nearly 1 billion Euros of debt and 193 million Euros of operating cash flow in 2011, has been trying to sell its assets to cut debt by a quarter in the next three years.
Spanish media said KKR could invest in NH Hoteles by first acquiring a 15.7% stake held by the parent of nationalized lender Bankia, worth about 100 million Euros or through a capital increase, or both.
NH Hoteles said in a statement to Spain's stock market regulator on Friday that no definitive agreement with KKR had been reached, leaving it unclear what shape any stake buy or recapitalization plan might take.
An NH Hoteles spokesman said later that no further details were available. The board has received a proposal and now they'll be analyzing it more closely.
KKR would remove the Cajas from the shareholder structure and governing bodies, provide financial support for NH, and manage the company from a value-creation perspective Spanish brokerage N+1 Equities said.
NH Hoteles' business has been hit by recession in two of its main markets, Spain and Italy, but a deal could give KKR access to its more profitable hotels in Germany, Benelux, central Europe and Latin America.
Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!
Bit of a gamble putting money in a group exposed to Spain, not one I would take.Nov 06th, 2012 - 10:56 am 0
Spain has been trying every trick in the book to avoid a bail out,Nov 06th, 2012 - 08:14 pm 0
Sadly they just lost, and the bail out is now imminent.
Italy next then..
Spain going down with austerity...Nov 09th, 2012 - 12:03 pm 0