Huazhu Group (“Huazhu”), a leading multi-brand hotel group (Nasdaq: HTHT), announced today that it reached an agreement to acquire all shares of Deutsche Hospitality (“the company”), a renowned international hotel group, through its wholly owned subsidiary China Lodging Holding Singapore. Deutsche Hospitality is based in Frankfurt, Germany, and its unique and varied portfolio includes the five prestigious hotel brands Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts, MAXX by Steigenberger, Jaz in the City, IntercityHotel and Zleep Hotels.
Huazhu is one of the most successful hotel companies worldwide, with more than 5,000 hotels in over 400 cities.
Its loyalty program boasts more than 139 million members. Huazhu operates 18 brands across market segments covering economy to upscale and servicing the needs of business and leisure travelers. Huazhu is also the ninth largest hotel company in the world by room count and the fifth largest by market capitalization. In 2019, Huazhu entered Japan and Singapore and established its international headquarters in Singapore. Deutsche Hospitality brands complement those of Huazhu, and the merged portfolio will be able to offer a wider range of brand choice to travelers, owners and franchisees. The acquisition of Deutsche Hospitality accelerates Huazhu’s expansion strategy, driving revenue growth in the upscale and luxury segments in Asia, including China, while expanding Huazhu’s international footprint.
Deutsche Hospitality, which operates 118 hotels with 36 hotels under development in 19 countries on three continents, has also charted an ambitious growth strategy. In 2019, the almost 90-year-old hotel group announced a worldwide expansion plan to reach 250 hotels by 2024. The acquisition by Huazhu will enhance Deutsche Hospitality ’s ability to achieve this target by strengthening its competitive position in Europe, the Middle East and the African market. The shareholding of the Joint Venture SME Ltd. (Steigenberger Middle East) shall remain unchanged and will continue to operate and expand the Deutsche Hospitality brands with its current partner.
Qi JI, Founder and Executive Chairman of Huazhu Group, said, “Huazhu has enormous respect and admiration particularly for the prestigious Steigenberger brand. The legendary brand has a tradition for almost 90 years of providing a perfect balance of tradition and modernity to guests from all over the world. The legacy created by a highly respected German family and preserved and enhanced by the current owner and the exceptional management team is at the heart of the appeal of Deutsche Hospitality. Huazhu is committed to fully respecting and embracing the heritage of the company, and working closely with the company’s associates, owners and business partners in helping to write the next chapter.”
Qi JI added, “This acquisition is an important milestone in our global growth strategy. Deutsche Hospitality is a perfect strategic fit and we expect competitive advantages for both companies. The brands of Deutsche Hospitality will enhance the offering of Huazhu and its operating capabilities in the high-end European hotel market.”
Jenny ZHANG, CEO of Huazhu, commented,“We are extremely impressed by the passionate and professional management team, the service levels and the excellent relationship with all relevant partners and stakeholders. We look forward to working with Deutsche Hospitality to expand the high-quality offering and further enhance the experience of guests staying in these hotels. Deutsche Hospitality and its brands will maintain their distinctive personality and individuality while benefiting from Huazhu’s leading technology, advanced innovation abilities, strong partnerships, loyalty program, effective sales and marketing support, solid global distribution network and strong presence in the fast-growing Chinese market. I envision the merger of Deutsche Hospitality and Huazhu will create the foundation of a global hotel group that seamlessly combines European hospitality, German quality and Asian speed.”
The Executive Board of Deutsche Hospitality commented, “Huazhu is one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world. We share the same values as Huazhu. We are both truly passionate about offering a high-quality experience to our customers, hence we are constantly aiming for improving our offering and services and innovating our operations. Both Huazhu and Deutsche Hospitality have strong and recognized brands, which we will maintain, while further accelerating their growth. We are very excited to become part of Huazhu Group.”
About Huazhu Group:
Huazhu Groupis listed on the NASDAQ stock market (NASDAQ: HTHT) and headquartered in Shanghai. It is a leading and fast-growing multi-brand hotel group in China, operating more than 5,000 hotels across over 400 cities with more than 100,000 employees. The company was established in 2005 and focuses on providing customers with high-quality and diverse travel experiences. Huazhu is the ninth largest hotel company in the world by room count and the fifth by market capitalization. Huazhu has extensive operation in China and started its international presence in Singapore and Japan recently. Huazhu now operates hotels under a wide variety of brands across Greater China market. In China market, Huazhu has a long-term partnership with Accor since 2015. Huazhu’s brands range from up upper scale brands – Joya, Blossom Hill, Grand Madison, Grand Mercure, to up and midscale – Novotel, Mercure, Crystal Orange, Manxin, Orange Select, Ji, CitiGO, Starway, ibis Styles, Hanting Premium, and economy – ibis, Hanting, Elan, Hi, servicing the needs of both business and leisure travelers. H Rewards, the loyalty program and an efficient and user-friendly hotel booking platform, provides accommodation, transportation, shopping and other preferred services for over 139 million members.
Deutsche Hospitality brings together five separate hotel brands under a single umbrella. Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts has 60 hotels housed in historic traditional buildings and lively city residences and also offers health and beauty oases set at the very heart of nature. MAXX by Steigenberger is a new and charismatic concept which places the focus on the essential in accordance with its motto “MAXXimize your stay”. Jaz in the City branded hotels reflect metropolitan lifestyle and draw upon the local music and cultural scene. IntercityHotel offers more than 40 upper mid-range urban hotels, all of which are located within easy walking distance of railway stations or airports. And Zleep Hotels – a well-known and successful hotel brand in Scandinavia which offers service and design at a great rate for the many. Deutsche Hospitality’s history dates back to 1930 when German entrepreneur Albert Steigenberger took over his first hotels and built it into a consortium under the Steigenberger brand. In 2016, the Steigenberger Hotel Group was renamed Deutsche Hospitality.