Spain's NH Hotels drops price on China sale

17th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Stock market turbulence forced Spanish hotel chain NH to drop the price of a 20 percent-stake it is selling to Chinese airline group HNA, from 431.6 million to 329.8 million euros ($451.6 million), the companies said Monday.

"The two companies have agreed to change the terms of the Chinese group's purchase of NH Hotels capital, in line with the current world economic climate," NH Hotels said in a statement to the Spanish stock market authority.

The new price represents a 23-percent discount on the initial price announced in May but was still a 64-percent mark-up compared to the Spanish company's stock price on Friday.

European stock markets have suffered in recent weeks from high anxiety about financial instability in the eurozone and fears of a fresh recession.

"The broad fall in value of the listed companies, which have been affected by a changeable world economic climate, prompted this change in the type of share offering," NH Hotels said.

HNA Group is China's fourth-biggest airline group, owner of Hainan Airlines and a big stake in Hong Kong Airlines. The new deal will make it the second-biggest shareholder in NH Hotels and give it two seats on the Spanish firm's board.

NH Hotels said Monday the sale will be finalised in December and it hopes to incorporate the first hotels in China, one of the world's fastest-growing tourism markets, into the group next year.

NH Hotels is Europe's third-biggest business hotel chain with 400 hotels in Europe, Latin America, North America and Africa.

HNA Group has assets worth 40 billion euros, including several airlines and investments in airports, hotels and other real estate.

© 2011 AFP

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