March 4, 2021

NH believes that Minor's bid will help expansion in Asia, but criticizes the price | Economy

NH believes that Minor's bid will help expansion in Asia, but criticizes the price | Economy



The board of directors of NH Hotel Group, with its president, Alfredo Fernández Agras, at the top rejects the bid by the Thai company Minor, because it understands that the price offered, 6.3 euros per share, is insufficient and does not reflect the value real NH That said, little can be done to stop it, since the deadline to accept it started yesterday, a counter offer before a week is unlikely and Hesperia has announced that it will sell its 8.3% to Thais, who will therefore reach 54 , 7%. Thus, the chain's management has highlighted in a conference of analysts that the arrival of Minor offers interesting synergies for the chain, such as the possibility of expanding in Asia, where it has no presence, the possibility that any of its hotels between in the luxury business of the Thai or an increase in sales by attracting new customers.

The CEO, Ramón Aragonés, accompanied at the conference by Fernández Agras and Beatriz Puente, the financial director, stated that, although there are no major operational synergies, given that both groups have very different hotel portfolios – he has hardly mentioned that two hotels of Minor in Portugal can pass into the hands of NH-, "there are great possibilities for synergies in sales". "There are possibilities for exponential growth," said Aragonés, stressing that with Minor "we will be part of a group with a presence in the five continents." In particular, he stressed that NH does not currently have a presence in Asia.

In addition, he stressed that "the Asian customer is more willing to spend than the European" and that some of the NH hotels could be renamed to enter the portfolio of luxury hotels in Minor, called Anantara. "Unfortunately, there would not be many," he lamented, but has shown confidence that they would improve their results.

However, he reiterated, as stated in the report sent yesterday to the CNMV, that the price offered by Minor, 6.3 euros per share, is too low and does not adequately reflect "the fundamentals" of the chain. "That's why neither I nor the rest of the board of directors – with the exception of Hesperia's board members, who do accept the OPA – will sell," he said. On the possibility that Minor ends up with a percentage of NH higher than the target, between 51 and 55%, Agras has said that "we do not know what will happen, we will know it on the 22nd", when the deadline ends acceptance of the OPA. According to the offer brochure written by Minor, if it exceeds 55%, it is proposed to sell to another investor or issue bonds.

The current direction of NH has admitted some clouds on the horizon, such as the situation in Catalonia, the deceleration in Madrid compared to the previous year, the "cooling down" of the Spanish economy and the crisis in Argentina, but they have said that they will be compensated by the good situation in other markets, above all, they have said, in Benelux or cities like Rome. For example, Aragonés has pointed out that, although some cities are not having the same demand as last year -among them Madrid and Barcelona- the capital is living "a great year of congresses" and they have remembered that next year it will host the final of the Champions League football. "About Barcelona, ​​we do not know what will happen, but we continue to consider the same situation as last year," he said. Thus, it does not see the forecast of Ebitda for risk this year, which stands at 260 million euros, or for the next, 285 million.

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