Shelved takeover attempt resets hotel rivals

Shelved takeover attempt resets hotel rivals

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has shaken off a nearly year-long takeover attempt. Announcing that it does not see a path to a deal, “particularly when taking into account the Wyndham board’s obvious continuing disinterest”, Choice Hotels International has withdrawn its share purchase offer and a proposed slate of directors for Wyndham’s board.

In announcing its retreat, Choice Hotels characterized the pursuit as an attempt “to engage in good-faith negotiations with Wyndham through numerous different avenues.” However, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) terms it an effort “to seize control of its rival.”

“The FTC was closely scrutinizing Choice’s tender offer as well as its efforts to replace the Wyndham board of directors with its own hand-picked slate of nominees. Each of these actions posed serious competition questions and their abandonment is a win for consumers,” says Henry Liu, director of the FTC Bureau of Competition.

Choice Hotels boasts nearly 7,500 hotels, encompassing 630,000 rooms, located in 46 countries. Wyndham is the world’s largest hotel franchising company, with 9,200 hotels, encompassing 872,000 rooms, in 95 countries.

“The Wyndham Board is pleased that Choice has ended its hostile pursuit and proxy contest, following the expiration of its unsolicited exchange offer,” says board chair, Stephen Holmes.

Geoff Ballotti, Wyndham’s president and chief executive officer, confirms the company looks forward to executing its strategic plan “without the unnecessary distraction of this situation and disruption to our business”.

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