Formosa International Hotels Corp (FIHC, 晶華國際酒店集團), the nation’s largest listed hotel operator, beat more than 20 other global hotel operators with its successful acquisition of the “Regent” luxury hotel business for an estimated US$56 million.
The move paves the way for FIHC’s global expansion and makes it Taiwan’s first hotel operator to own an international hotel brand.
“Our mission is to build Regent into the most admired luxury hotel brand in the world, exceeding even the high expectations of Regent’s [previous] owners and guests,” FIHC chairman Steven Pan (潘思亮) said in a statement yesterday.
FIHC said it had entered into a definitive agreement with the US-based Carlson, a privately held, global hospitality and travel company, as well as Belgium’s Rezidor Hotel Group AB.
The acquisition by FIHC includes the sale of the global Regent brand and all associated intellectual property, hotel management and lease contracts for 17 hotel properties in operation and under development, as well as the Regent Seven Seas Cruises license, the statement said.
The master purchase agreement for the transaction includes customary conditions, which are expected to be fulfilled within the next month, it said.
The Regent brand is owned by Carlson, which also runs T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants and globally operates and licenses the Regent brand, including hotels, residences and cruise ships.
In 2003, Carlson expanded its relationship with Rezidor under a separate master franchise agreement to include the development rights for Regent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
FIHC is the owner of the Grand Formosa Regent Taipei (晶華酒店), which was opened 20 years ago on Zhongshan N Road by Regent’s founders.
According to the statement, future Regent hotels will be based on the concept of mixed-use, lifestyle development that encompasses the finest hospitality, residential and commercial components in prime urban and resort locations.
Regent plans to return to gateway cities such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, New York, Beverly Hills, London, Paris and Sydney. Pipeline hotels include projects in Abu Dhabi, Bali, Bangkok, Doha, Dubrovnik, Gurgaon, Kuala Lumpur and Phuket, as well as the Maldives and Puerto Rico, the statement said.
“We are confident that Regent will thrive under the direction of FIHC,” Carlson president and CEO Hubert Joly said in the press release. “The company’s thorough knowledge of the brand and access to capital are vital to the continued development of this tremendous luxury brand.”
“After a careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that FIHC provided an excellent fit to Regent’s future. It is exclusively focused on the luxury hotel segment, and committed to growing the brand internationally,” Rezidor Hotel Group president and CEO Kurt Ritter said.
Shares of Formosa International Hotels fell 0.8 percent to NT$370 yesterday on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The stock has declined 9.87 percent so far this year, compared with the benchmark index’s 0.93 percent fall.
NOT ALL GOOD: Analysts warned that other data for last month might be less rosy due to the virus and analysts expect the PMI to contract again next month Chinese factory activity saw surprise growth last month as businesses went back to work following a lengthy shutdown, but analysts said that the economy faces a challenging recovery as external demand has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the World Bank said that growth could screech to a halt. China is slowly returning to life after months of tough restrictions aimed at containing the virus, which put millions of people into virtual house arrest and brought economic activity to a near standstill. The strict measures saw a closely watched gauge of manufacturing plunge to its lowest level on record in February,
The output of the global smartphone industry this year is to contract by 7.8 percent on an annual basis as the COVID-19 pandemic ushers in a global recession, Taipei-based market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a report on Monday. The global production of smartphones is expected to fall to 1.29 billion units, as the pandemic dampens demand for consumer electronics, leading to a decline in shipments across Europe and North America, TrendForce said. With consumers delaying smartphone purchases and thereby lengthening the device replacement cycle, overall prices would suffer a setback that is expected to negatively affect the profitability of smartphone
ELECTRONICS Lite-On delays sale of unit Lite-On Technology Corp (光寶科技) yesterday said it would postpone the sale of its solid-state drives (SSD) business to Kioxia Holdings Corp, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp, due to disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Taiwan-based electronics components supplier struck the deal with the Japanese firm, agreeing to sell the unit for US$165 million. Citing unfinished integration work due to the pandemic, Lite-On has deferred today’s closing date until further notice, adding that the delay would not have a negative effect on the unit’s operations. AUTO PARTS Hiroca approves dividend Automotive interior parts supplier Hiroca
ALL ABOUT STRATEGY: The company is optimistic, saying that its gross margin should increase year-on-year, but it is scaling back on its plans to expand capacity Quang Viet Enterprise Co (QVE, 廣越), which makes down jackets and garments for sportswear and outdoor brands including Adidas AG, yesterday said that revenue might drop 5 to 10 percent annually this year as some customers trimmed orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mark its first revenue decline since 2016. Quang Viet posted record-high revenue of NT$16.26 billion (US$537.45 million) last year, up 22 percent from 2018. Down jackets made up 40 percent of it revenue last year. North Face Inc and Patagonia Inc are this year likely to reduce orders by 20 to 30 percent from a