The race for critical size is at the top of the agenda more than ever. On the one hand, Western groups are reactivating organic and external growth through mergers and acquisitions. On the other, Chinese groups, for the most part, continue to nibble away at additional market shares by inviting themselves, in a mostly friendly manner, into the capital of groups that are present in America and Europe. There is a clear desire to support the rise of outbound Chinese clientele and to have achieve a global footprint.
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This year is once again marked by the growing strength of Chinese hoteliers who are pursuing expansion outside their domestic market and demonstrating their ambitions for the global hotel landscape. ln particular they are continuing their external growth policy with a focus on regional or national operators to consolidate their presence on Western markets. This is what happened with Red Lion Hotels Corporation, the American franchise group in which HNA owns 15%, that took over the franchiser Vantage Hospitality Group and its 1,000 properties under contract and climbed 50 places in the ranking.
HNA also finalized the takeover of the group Carlson Rezidor, that began in April 2016, and its 51% subsidiary Rezidor Hotel Group. It must make a takeover bid for the remaining 49% of the shares. Despite unfavorable counsel from the board of administration, it controls more than 70%, but cannot withdraw from the Stockholm Stock Exchange where it remains listed. A new organization has been implemented under the aegis of Federico Tejera to coordinate the actions of the two corporations. HNA, a major shareholder in NH Hotel Group in Spain and Pierre&Vacances/Center Parcs in France, drew attention when it acquired 25% of the capital in the group Hilton Worldwide from the American fund Blackstone, making HNA the largest shareholder. However, growth in its proprietary hotel supply remained moderate in 2016, so it is still not of one the Top Ten.
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