Hyatt backs off Spain's NH Hotels bid in face of Minor stake

MADRID (Reuters) - Hyatt Hotels H.N has backed away from launching a takeover of NH Hotels NHH.MC, days after a rival bidder Minor MINT.BK revealed it controlled 44 percent of the Spanish group.

FILE PHOTO: The NH Hotel logo is seen on top of the NH Madrid Nacional hotel in Madrid, Spain, June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hanna/File Photo

In a letter from Hyatt released to the Spanish stock exchange by NH, the U.S. hospitality company, which on Friday said it may launch a cash bid for 100 percent of NH, said it saw pursuing an offer as extremely challenging.

“Based on the information we now have, we believe that the path to a successful tender offer by Hyatt under the terms expressed in our letter has narrowed to a point of being impractical,” Hyatt’s President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian said in the letter released on Monday.

Thailand-based Minor International made an offer in June which valued NH at up to 2.5 billion euros ($2.9 billion).

Minor already owns 29.8 percent with agreements in place to buy Chinese conglomerate HNA’s 8.4 percent holding and Oceanwood Capital Management’s 5.7 percent stakes. It said late on Friday it had control over 44 percent of NH’s share capital.

Shares in NH dropped 6.4 percent on Monday to 6.3 euros per share, slightly below Minor’s offer price.

NH, with over 370 hotels in 30 countries, in January turned down a takeover offer from Spanish peer Barcelo which valued the company at 2.48 billion euros.

Minor had agreed to pay HNA 622 million euros for a 26.5 percent stake in the hotel group, taking its stake to around 38 percent after the conversion of some bonds to shares. It would then offer 6.4 euros for each remaining share, it said.

NH said Minor’s offer, approved by Spanish and Portuguese competition watchdogs, undervalued the company.

Spain, by far NH’s biggest market with around a third of its hotels, became the second most visited country in the world after France in 2017, overtaking the United States.

($1 = 0.8572 euros)

Reporting by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Alexander Smith