Carlson Hotels Worldwide, which owns 35 per cent of Brussels-based Rezidor Hotel Group AB, is acquiring an additional 10,117,200 Rezidor shares representing 6.7 per cent of the company ownership from SAS Group of Stockholm. The acquisition of the additional shares brings Carlson’s ownership of Rezidor to 41.7 per cent.
The price paid was based on the average closing price traded in the period May 18 to May 24 equaling SEK 57.70 (US$8.43) per share or a total of SEK 583,762,440 (US$85,258,504). After the transaction SAS Group will not hold any remaining shares in Rezidor.
The 6.7% SAS holding is a residual stake following the successful IPO of Rezidor in November 2006. As earlier communicated, SAS intended to sell the stake at an appropriate time following a customary 6 months lock up period. At the time of the IPO Carlson owned 25 per cent of Rezidor and increased its ownership to 35 per cent. The additional Rezidor shares acquired by Carlson will be included in the lock-up agreement entered into by Carlson at the time of the IPO which extends through November, 27, 2007.
The relationship between Carlson and Rezidor dates back to 1994 when the companies signed a Master Franchise Agreement for the Radisson brand in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Subsequent agreements have expanded Rezidor’s franchise rights to include the Carlson brands of Regent Hotels & Resorts; Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn.
Rezidor has enjoyed dramatic growth since signing the original agreement with Carlson in 1994. At that time the company had 29 properties and today Rezidor has 227 properties operating in 47 countries along with an additional 70 properties under development.
“The intention of SAS Group to sell its remaining shares in Rezidor represented a unique opportunity for Carlson to increase its investment in Rezidor,” said Jay Witzel, president and CEO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide. “The business performance of Rezidor has been very good, making this a sound investment which also supports our commitment to the continuing growth and success of our brands in the EMEA,” he added.