CHINA-BASED JIN Jiang International Holdings has tried again, and failed, to get initial approval to purchase remaining shares in Radisson Hospitality, in which it acquired a majority stake in November. The Independent Committee of the Board of Directors of Radisson recommended against the company’s latest bid as “not fair from a financial point of view.”
Jin Jiang, which already made a previous attempt to buy the remaining shares, has said it will not increase its bid, according to Radisson. Radisson and HNA have until Feb. 4 to fully consider the offer.
In the acquisition, Jin Jiang purchased 50.21 percent as part of a consortium including private equity group SINO-CEE Fund. Doing business through Aplite Holdings AB, the consortium bought 87.6 million shares of Radisson AB for approximately $91.5 million from HNA Tourism Group Co., also based in China. Under Swedish law, Jin Jiang’s consortium was required to make a public offer for the remaining shares of the company or sell shares so the consortium’s ownership in the company falls below 30 percent of the votes in the company.
The consortiums’ initial offer on Dec. 11 of SEK 40 ($4.46) per share was rejected by the committee, so the two companies bid again on Jan. 4 for SEK 42.50 ($4.74).
In its latest rejection, the Radisson committee cited standards listed in a fairness opinion provided by Rothschild & Co. It also urges Radisson stockholders to read carefully new language the consortium put in a press release announcing its initial offer and the offer document that could reflect its plans for implementing Radisson’s 5-year operating plan.
“The independent committee does, however, not have any reason to doubt the veracity of the statements by the consortium, nor does it have any reason to believe that the consortium would pursue an alternative approach to managing the company inferior to the company’s 5-year operating plan,” the committees said.
During the spring conference in Orlando, Florida, leaders of Radisson said their goal is to make Radisson Hotel Group one of the top three hotel companies in the world over the next five years through aggressive franchise development, redesign of its flagship brand and investment in state-of-the-art technology in its marketing, distribution and management platforms.
Also, the committee points out that the mandatory offer from Jin Jiang may reduce liquidity of Radisson’s stock shares and concentrate its ownership structure. For minority shareholders, this could mean a drop in share price below the amount in the latest offer if the Feb. 4 deadline passes without being accepted. At the same time, the committee said the latest offer offers premiums that could benefit shareholders looking for immediate liquidity.
HNA Group acquired the former Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group from the Carlson family in December 2016. In April, Radisson announced the company’s name change to Radisson Hotel Group, which includes Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Radisson Hospitality Inc. and Radisson Hospitality AB in Brussels, Belgium.
Radisson Hospitality Inc., also known as Radisson Holdings, oversees the company’s operations in the Americas and Asia Pacific. Radisson Hospitality AB is the company’s EMEA operations. Radisson AB is traded on the Swedish stock exchange.
After the July 3 death of HNA Group’s co-chairman Radisson found itself on the block as the company also sold off many of its other overseas investments.
Radisson Hotel Group has over 1,400 hotels and 220,000 guestrooms operating or in development under its eight global brands.
Radisson Hotel Group’s brands include Country Inn & Suites, Radisson, Radisson Blu and Radisson Red. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson marked its 30th anniversary last fall. Its growth in the U.S. was largely driven by Asian American franchisees.