We sold our Park Hotels (PK) the morning of February 5, as well as a very large chunk of the rest of our holdings.We sold at 27.83.As of Friday PK sold as low as 24.23.Why?
A big Chinese conglomerate, the HNA Group, was a 25% shareholder of Park Hotels. Good thing.HNA way over-extended itself and got in big trouble.It announced as part of getting out of the hole they had dug themselves into they were going to sell all 53 million of their PK shares.
HNA is a big company, one of the Fortune Global 200.But even big companies can stumble no matter what Jonathan Hart said.(In one “Hart to Hart” episode he opined that “the first $5 million is difficult, after that it is inevitable.”)But according to Bloomberg, HNA has of late been conducting a fire sale of properties in order to keep some of its other businesses afloat.They have sold $9 billion worth of assets.That’s the entire value of Park Hotels!
My full discussion of why I like Park so much was contained in one of three articles I wrote about the global hotel and lodging industry.That one was titled “Can Hotel Companies Survive Airbnb?This One Will.”
That article was filled with pretty photos of some of Park’s most beautiful hotels.It gave me a chance to reminisce a bit about some of my stays at these premier properties (funded for the most part by the loyalty points I accrued by staying at Park’s less upscale Hamptons, Hilton Garden Inns, and Doubletrees.
You see, Park today is comprised of 55 former Hilton Worldwide (HLT) properties that Hilton spun off when it decided that managing, branding and marketing hotels was their real forte and allowed them to leverage those skills without tying up capital in property ownership.That’s “today.”Park’s plan, however, is to buy new properties and let the best bidders win their management, branding and marketing loyalty, be they Hilton, Hyatt (H), Marriott (MAR), Accor (ACCYY) or any other big “flag.”