This merger approach with Barcelo was rejected by NH’s board earlier this year, which cited doubts that such a bargain would not provide shareholders with value. Some reports, however, have suggested that NH is not entirely adverse to such a deal in the future, but the fact remains that it did not find a suitable agreement with Barcelo.
Meanwhile, , who is Barcelo’s CEO, said the recent International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin that a such a deal with NH would have “made a lot of sense for both parties.” Of course, it was not to be at this time.
NH and Barcelo Non-Merger
With more than 55,000 rooms, NH Hotels ranks as the 22nd largest hotel operator in the world, according to experts. Meanwhile, Barcelo is a smaller company, possessing a total of 33,000 rooms.
Had the two entities merged, they would have, of course, created a significantly larger company, one that would have theoretically ranked above the likes of some of the other mid-sized international hotel operators, companies such Red Lion Hotels and Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn. Had the merger gone through, the new combined company would have likely ranted 14th overall in the world.
Other Potential Mergers
Although the deal with NH Hotels did not work, one thing that has become increasingly clear is that Barcelo’s leadership believes consolidation to be the best way to move forward. All signs point to this being a viable solution for the hotel company based in Spain, which is also home to many other medium-sized hotel operators, such as RIU Hotels & Resorts as well as Melia Hotels International.
For his part, Barcelo CEO Gonzalez has also said that the current market is “too fragmented and not efficient enough” and that for operators to grow into true players on the global scale, consolidation is likely necessary.
The History of Barcelo
Barcelo began as a transportation company back in 1931, and nowadays it includes both a hotel and a travel division. Unlike NH Hotels, it is a privately-held company that is not for its part listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange.
Another notable tidbit about Barcelo is that the Chinese conglomerate HNA group currently holds a 29 percent stake in the company, but experts say that HNA group is looking to sell, in part to alleviate its own mounting debt.
So while the deal between NH Hotels and Barcelo didn’t entirely work out, it seems as if both companies are motivated to make something happen moving forward, and it would not come as a surprise to have news about either soon.
Let’s take a look at a few projects currently underway by Barcelo Group: