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Hyatt announces acquisition of Apple Leisure Group for $2.7 billion

Hyatt has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Apple Leisure Group (ALG), a leading luxury resort-management services, travel and hospitality group, from affiliates of each of KKR and KSL Capital Partners, LLC for $2.7 billion in cash.

ALG’s resort brand management platform AMResorts provides management services to the largest portfolio of luxury all-inclusive resorts in the Americas under the AMR Collection brand portfolio, including well-known brands Secrets Resorts & Spa, Dreams Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas and Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts as well as the fast-growing Alua Hotels & Resorts brand, which is expanding in European leisure destinations.

The acquisition also includes ALG’s membership offering, Unlimited Vacation Club, travel distribution business ALG Vacations, as well as destination management services and travel technology assets. Following the completion of the transaction, ALG’s business will continue to be led by current ALG CEO Alejandro Reynal and the current ALG leadership team. Mr. Reynal will become a member of Hyatt’s executive leadership team and report to Mark Hoplamazian, CEO, Hyatt.

Alejandro Reynal, CEO, Apple Leisure Group, said:

Combining Hyatt’s deep expertise and global brand footprint with ALG’s strong resort brands, operating capabilities and robust development plans will elevate our differentiated position and create a leader in luxury leisure travel. On behalf of everyone at ALG, I am grateful to our partners at KKR and KSL who supported us in building the platform into what it is today. I am excited to have our team join the Hyatt family and I anticipate a robust growth journey ahead as the industry expands and we are able to provide a best-in-class leisure offering to an even larger group of travelers around the world.

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Chris Harrington and Rich Weissman, partners at KKR and KSL Capital Partners, respectively, said:

Today is a great milestone in what has been a story of growth, resilience, and dedication to world-class leisure experiences by an outstanding team at Apple Leisure Group. There is simply no better home for ALG to continue on its growth trajectory than being part of Hyatt.

Some key points about the acquisition include:

  • The acquisition will expand Hyatt’s presence in luxury leisure travel and immediately add approximately 100 hotels and a pipeline of 24 executed deals in Europe and the Americas to its portfolio. Following completion of the transaction, Hyatt states that it will offer the largest portfolio of luxury all-inclusive resorts in the world, will double its global resort footprint, will be the largest operator of luxury hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean, and will expand its European footprint by 60%. The acquisition will extend Hyatt’s brand footprint into 11 new European markets.
  • ALG’s strong developer and owner base will expand Hyatt’s relationships with deeply committed partners in key complementary geographies. The hospitality group states that it plans to apply the combined strength of the teams(Hyatt and ALG) to expand beyond ALG’s current pipeline in new geographies in which ALG does not currently have hotels.   
  • The combined resources of ALG and Hyatt will open up expanded offerings and experiences for the benefit of the combined companies’ high-end guest and customer base. ALG’s exclusive membership offering, Unlimited Vacation Club, ‘will bring more than 110,000 highly passionate travelers closer to Hyatt when traveling for a variety of stay occasions apart from vacations’. Additionally, Hyatt states that following completion of the transaction, Hyatt will determine ways in which World of Hyatt and Unlimited Vacation Club can bring added value and unique loyalty benefits to their member bases while benefitting hotel owners.  
  • Enhance end-to-end leisure travel offerings through: 1) ALG Vacations® as one of the largest packaged tour providers and leisure travel distribution platforms in North America serving Mexico and the Caribbean, 2) Amstar, a leading destination services management company in Mexico and the Caribbean, and its Hawaii-focused counterpart Worldstar, and 3) Trisept Solutions, its unique leisure travel technology platform.    

At closing, Hyatt expects to fund more than 80% of the purchase with a combination of $1.0 billion of cash on hand and new debt financings, and the remainder with approximately $500 million from equity financing. Hyatt has secured a $1.7 billion financing commitment from J.P. Morgan. Hyatt states that cash proceeds from the $2 billion asset sale program are expected to be used to pay down debt, including debt incurred to fund the acquisition. The transaction is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

For those interested to watch the transaction discussion live, Hyatt will hold a conference call and webcast today (16th August 2021). Those interested may listen to a simultaneous webcast of the conference call, which may be accessed through the Company’s website at investors.hyatt.com.

Meanwhile, Hyatt recently opened Thompson Savannah, Hyatt Centric 39th and 5th NewYork, Hyatt Centric Downtown Nashville, Thompson Hollywood, Hyatt Regency JFK Airport at Resorts World New York, Hyatt Regency Koh Samui, Hyatt Place London City East, Hyatt Place Ekaterinburg (the brand’s debut hotel in Russia), Alila Hinu Bay, Hyatt Regency Tokyo Bay, Hyatt House OSU Short North Columbus and Hyatt Centric Charlotte South Park. The American hospitality chain has also announced that its Luxury and Lifestyle brands are continuing to grow globally in order to ‘meet leisure travel demand’. Hyatt will open Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton in October this year.

Featured image by Hyatt

What do you think of Hyatt’s acquisition of Apple Leisure Group? Let me know in the comments section below.

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