Choice Hotels Ends $7 Billion Takeover Bid for Wyndham

Choice Hotels Ends $7 Billion Takeover Bid for Wyndham

By Author

Published on March 13, 2024

In a significant move within the hotel industry, Choice Hotels International has terminated its nearly year-long attempt to acquire Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, marking the end of a proposed merger valued at approximately $7 billion. The decision came after Choice faced repeated rejections from Wyndham and failed to secure adequate support from its rival's shareholders for its hostile bid. Initially proposed in April last year and made public in October with a cash-and-stock offer of $89 per share, the merger would have positioned the combined entity as a powerhouse in the US budget hotel sector, directly competing against upscale hotel chains that have recently entered the budget market.

Based in Rockville, Maryland, Choice Hotels boasts nearly 7,500 properties in 46 countries, offering a mix of upper-midscale and upscale accommodations through brands like Radisson, Country Inn & Suites, and Cambria Hotels. Wyndham, headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, operates about 9,100 hotels across more than 95 countries, with a portfolio of budget brands including Travelodge, Ramada, Days Inn, and Microtel.

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The merger's potential brought to light concerns over antitrust risks and financial stability, with Wyndham highlighting the anticipated combined company's debt load and a slowdown in Choice's business as critical issues. Despite these challenges, Choice's bid did garner some support from Wyndham's shareholders, although less than 20%, insufficient for Choice to see a clear path toward completing the transaction.

With the bid now withdrawn, Choice Hotels has announced it will concentrate on its independent strategy, including an increase in the company's share buyback authorization by five million shares, or approximately $600 million. This move signifies a shift back to growth and development independently of the failed merger attempt.

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In response to Choice's withdrawal, Wyndham expressed confidence in its standalone strategy and growth prospects, underpinned by a management team with a proven track record. Analysts have reacted to the development, with some suggesting that ending the takeover bid could ultimately benefit Choice, allowing the company to focus on its core business and growth opportunities.

As the hotel industry continues to evolve, this aborted takeover bid highlights the complex dynamics at play in mergers and acquisitions, particularly in sectors with significant competition and regulatory scrutiny. Both Choice Hotels and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts now move forward independently, focusing on growth strategies that promise to enhance their positions in the competitive hotel market.


Wow! Momo Raises $9 Million in Latest Series D Funding Round

Wow! Momo Raises $9 Million in Latest Series D Funding Round

By Nishang Narayan

Published on April 21, 2024

Indian fast-food chain Wow! Momo has announced a significant boost in its financing with a $9 million injection in an expanded Series D funding round from Z3 Partners. This recent funding brings the total raised in this round to $51 million, which includes $34 million in primary funding and $27 million in secondary funding.

Earlier participants in this round included the Indian Angel Network and Lighthouse Funds, which contributed through a secondary acquisition. The initial phase of the Series D funding in January secured $42 million, led by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, which significantly contributed to the company's current valuation of over $300 million, as reported by TheKredible.

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The Kolkata-based company, founded by Sagar Daryani and Binod Homagai, operates under the Wow! Momo Foods umbrella, which includes Wow! Momo, Wow! China, and Wow! Chicken. Currently, Wow! Momo boasts 630 outlets across 38 cities and employs a direct workforce of 6,000 individuals.

With the latest funding, Wow! Momo plans to enhance and expand its quick-service restaurant brand, improve distribution channels, and invest in research and development for its FMCG sector, which it entered in July 2021.

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For the fiscal year 2025, Wow! Momo aims to increase its footprint by adding 200 more outlets and targets a revenue projection of $83-89 million, up from $55 million in FY23. The company's financial growth is evident, as its operational revenue doubled to $28 million in FY22 from $13.5 million in FY21.

This strategic funding and expansion plan underscore Wow! Momo's commitment to strengthening its market presence in India's competitive food service industry and enhancing its product offerings to meet the evolving tastes and preferences of consumers.


Catch Spices Joins the INR 1000 Crore Club

Catch Spices Joins the INR 1000 Crore Club

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on April 21, 2024

Catch Spices, a flagship brand of the DS Group, has achieved a remarkable milestone by entering the prestigious INR 1000 crore club in the packaged spice industry. With an impressive year-on-year growth rate of 24 percent over the last two years, Catch Spices is now setting its sights on a robust Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of approximately 30 percent over the next five years.

Expanding its horizons, Catch Spices is diversifying its product range to include herbs, gourmet gravies, cooking pastes, and more, catering to the diverse tastes of Indian consumers. This move comes as the packaged spices industry in India witnessed substantial growth, reaching approximately INR 34,000 crores in 2023.

Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of DS Group, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "Catch Spices' relentless commitment to quality and understanding of consumer preferences has propelled us to this milestone. Our focus remains on delivering purity, taste, and convenience."

With over 125 variants and 300 SKUs, Catch Spices has become a household name, reaching more than 2 crore households across India. Leveraging modern trade and e-commerce platforms, the brand has demonstrated remarkable growth, surpassing industry benchmarks.

Supported by brand ambassadors like Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar, Catch Spices has resonated with consumers through its campaign "Kyunki khana sirf Khana nahi hota," emphasizing the emotional connection to food. The brand's increased focus on digital marketing and strategic partnerships further strengthens its market presence.

Catch Spices' journey to the INR 1000 crore club signifies its unwavering dedication to excellence and innovation, promising a flavorful future for Indian kitchens.

With a strategic investment of INR 125 crore earmarked for advertising, marketing, and distribution network expansion, DS Group aims to enhance Catch Spices' presence and market share in the highly competitive FMCG sector. The company is also set to introduce new products tailored to suit the tastes of consumers in South India, further expanding its foothold in the region.

As DS Group continues to focus on growth and market expansion, it remains committed to innovation and consumer satisfaction, aiming to strengthen its position as a leading player in the FMCG sector while delivering value to its customers and stakeholders.


Taylor Swift's Concerts Drive Record Revenue for Singapore Hotels

Taylor Swift's Concerts Drive Record Revenue for Singapore Hotels

By Nithyakala Neelakandan

Published on April 13, 2024

In March, Singapore's hotel industry experienced a remarkable surge in revenue thanks to six sensational concerts by Taylor Swift. According to preliminary data from CoStar, these concerts led to the highest average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) on record.

Here's a snapshot of the impressive performance in March 2024 compared to the previous year:

Occupancy: 79.1% (+5.1%)

ADR: SGD358.91 (+12.7%)

RevPAR: SGD284.03 (+18.5%)

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Typically, occupancy levels are lower in the first and second quarters after the Chinese New Year, but Swift's Eras Tour injected much-needed energy into Singapore's hotel industry. During the concert dates from March 2nd to 4th and March 7th to 9th, daily occupancy rates soared, with peaks reaching 92.7% and 92.5% on Saturday, March 2nd, and Sunday, March 3rd, respectively.

Overall, the market consistently maintained daily occupancy levels above 70%, with Swift's performances driving ADR levels to a high of SGD438.36 on Saturday, March 2nd.

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The impact of Swift's concerts extended beyond Singapore, with CoStar highlighting a full analysis of the APAC Eras Tour. For additional insights and data requests, CoStar's world-leading hotel performance sample of 81,000 properties and 10.5 million rooms provides comprehensive information.

Taylor Swift's concerts not only entertained fans but also significantly boosted revenue for Singapore's hotel industry, setting new records in March. For more details about CoStar and its services, visit www.costargroup.com.

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