Shareholders disagree over Millennium & Copthorne sale

Hotel Management - 19 October 2017
Last week, City Developments, the majority owner of UK hotel group Millennium & Copthorne, made a bid to buy the company, which was valued at £1.8 billion. The firm’s independent directors had agreed to recommend the offer, at 552.5 pence in cash for each share. Not everyone has agreed to the valuation, however: A letter to Millennium’s independent committee of directions from shareholders International Value Advisers and MSD Partners said that the proposal “significantly undervalues” the company. The offer does not reflect a true value of the firm’s assets, the shareholders claimed, and the offer is a 32.5-percent discount on its true value as set out in its accounts rather than its share price.

Six Ways to Reduce Days Sales Outstanding

CFO Magazine - 19 October 2017
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. And a key measure to track for a healthy cash flow is Days Sales Outstanding (DSO). DSO represents the number of days it takes for a company to convert its accounts receivable into cash. The sooner the company gets that cash, the stronger its cash flow and financial position is likely to be.

Directors' Experience Doesn't Always Pay Off

CFO Magazine - 19 October 2017
It may seem obvious that shareholders stand to benefit when outside directors on a company’s board have experience in the industry the company operates in. However, a forthcoming research paper contends, that doesn’t hold true in the case of highly diversified companies, where directors tend to “play favorites” by influencing over-investment in the industries they’re most familiar with.

US government conference spending on upward trend Featured Articles - 19 October 2017
Federal conference spending surged ahead in fiscal year 2016, continuing the trend of recovery after a sharp decline in 2013, when there was a 62% drop. In 2012, the Office of Management and Budget issued Memorandum M-12-12, which requires all federal agencies to publicly list conferences costing more than $100,000 of taxpayer funds. Since 2013, spending has slowly been creeping back up, with the largest surge over the past four cycles seen in 2016. Federal agencies are not required to report on their spending on meetings of less than $100,000. The results we have compiled are limited to the most expensive conferences.

Hospitality: Shelter Your Business from Advanced Cyber Threats

Hospitality Technology Magazine - 19 October 2017
The past five years have seen a huge shift within the hospitality industry. Hotels and restaurants are now nearly completely digitalized – from reservation platforms and apps and POS systems, to the complex corporate networks of large chains. These changes have brought enormous gains in efficiency but also enormous increases in cyber risk.

Indie hoteliers prepare CapEx budgets for 2018 Featured Articles - 18 October 2017
As hoteliers look ahead to next year, they are setting spending priorities based on what they hope will lead to significant returns on their investments. Those with independent properties have the freedom to make decisions without brand requirements dictating every move, but they also must do so without the vastly wider knowledgebase of a brand. Instead of reacting broader industry trends, independent hoteliers focus on their individual properties and what they believe will hit the right notes with their specific guests.

Expedia Affiliate Network gets in on accelerator trend with Hotel Jumpstart

Tnooz - 18 October 2017
Expedia Affiliate Network, alongside sister-brand, is the latest travel company to launch an accelerator programme. Hotel Jumpstart, as the initiative is called, will provide startups with mentoring, technology such as APIs, and workspace to help them grow their businesses. The scheme is being run with London’s Traveltech Lab, the incubator for early stage technology businesses and the Trampery, which creates spaces to foster creativity.

Lenders use variety of factors to determine borrowing power for hotel loans

Hotel Management - 17 October 2017
When hoteliers need loans, lenders look at many different metrics in order to calculate borrowing power. From NCF to NOI, RevPAR and beyond, Mac Dobson, senior vice president of originations at Aries/Conlon Capital, breaks down all the acronyms and terms hoteliers need to know. First, Dobson said hoteliers need to know their numbers upfront so that they or their intermediaries can ensure the accuracy and structure around them and improve results. “Get organized,” he said, adding that hoteliers should gather at least three years’ worth of profit-and-loss statements in Excel as well as a trailing 12-month statement. With those in hand, the following are what lenders look to and hoteliers should know about:

Explainer: Reserve Funds

Lodging Magazine - 17 October 2017
Reserve funds consist of liquid assets set aside for future projects or unexpected costs. Typically, hoteliers contribute to reserve funds on a scheduled basis so that they can accrue interest and grow in value. Reserves are usually kept in cash so they can be accessed quickly in the case of an emergency. Many hoteliers create reserve funds specifically for PIPs, with experts indicating that most properties set aside around 4 percent of profits annually—though that is rarely enough to cover costs.

Is GDPR the Y2K for B2B marketing? - 17 October 2017
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and Y2K share some surprising similarities. Marketing Land breaks them down and outlines four ways to prepare your organization for GDPR.

Avoiding the Bed Bug Lawsuit·Requires Registration - 17 October 2017
There is nothing magical about avoiding a bed bug lawsuit. Lawsuits are the same as war in the sense that they represent the parties’ failures in diplomacy or dispute resolution. Lawsuits, like war, are for the most part, avoidable.

Amex Antitrust Case Heads to U.S. Supreme Court

Business Travel News (BTN) - 16 October 2017
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review an antitrust case against American Express, following a June petition by 11 state attorneys general, according to the U.S. Supreme Court website. The court will hear arguments in early 2018 and rule by June, according to Bloomberg. The case challenges Amex's rules that bar Amex-accepting merchants from steering customers to forms of payment that cost merchants less per transaction.

Be Cautious About 'Sweating your Assets'

CFO Magazine - 16 October 2017
Although there are countless operating initiatives we can pursue to create value in business they all can be characterized in one of three ways. First, we can make investments that deliver a return over the life of the investment above the required return on capital. Second, we can improve the profitability of existing activities by some combination of price and cost management. Third, we can improve asset productivity and deliver more profit or cash flow per dollar of assets.

Trump Won't Release Secret Report He Argues Justifies Travel Ban - Destinations - 14 October 2017
President Donald Trump says those challenging the latest version of his travel ban in court can’t see a report explaining why he targeted immigrants from seven nations because it’s secret. The government on Friday told a Hawaii federal judge who demanded disclosure of the report that it’s classified and should remain off-limits as evidence in the court battle. That judge blocked a previous version of the president’s immigration restrictions amid a fierce debate over national security and discrimination.

Latest Trump Travel Ban Challenge Can Move Forward - Destinations - 13 October 2017
A federal judge has granted Washington state the opportunity to challenge the third and latest travel ban announced by President Donald Trump. U.S. District Judge James L. Robart on Thursday granted Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s request to lift a stay that had halted the state’s case. Lifting the stay gives Ferguson and five other states involved in the case — Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and California — the chance to challenge the latest ban before it takes effect Oct. 18.

Owner-operator relationship hinges on brand relevancy Featured Articles - 11 October 2017
Owners and operators don’t always see eye to eye, but in today’s hotel industry, the two parties are more or less on the same page given the industry’s solid performance and the major hotel companies mostly being asset-free or asset-light, sources said. But friendly relations can change as quickly as one can say mergers and acquisitions.

What Wildfires, Hurricanes Can Teach About Risk Reduction

CFO Magazine - 11 October 2017
The Northern California wildfires. Harvey. Irma. Maria. We shudder at the thought of the devastation these natural disasters have inflicted. And such high-cost disasters aren’t just happening in the United States. In Mexico, strong earthquakes have left hundreds of people dead. Across South Asia, more than 1,200 people were killed and millions more displaced in severe monsoons in August.

Dell to Invest $1 Billion in 'Internet of Things'

CFO Magazine - 11 October 2017
After pivoting from personal computers to data center hardware and software, Dell Technologies is now charting a course toward the next state of its evolution — providing “distributed” computing through the Internet of Things. The company said Tuesday it will invest $1 billion in new IoT products, research and partnerships over the next three years and named Ray O’Farrell, the chief technology officer of its Vmware subsidiary, to lead a new IoT Solutions Division that will combine internally developed technologies with products from its partner ecosystem and investments.

Supreme Court Takes a Pass on Challenge to Trump Travel Ban 2.0

Business Travel News (BTN) - 11 October 2017
The Supreme Court has dropped a challenge to U.S. President Donald Trump's second travel ban, issued in March. The case originated in a Maryland federal district court and survived an appeal in the Fourth Circuit Court. The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments on Oct. 10 but canceled those hearings on Sept. 25 when Trump issued a proclamation, his third version of a travel ban. Technically, the Supreme Court vacated the appeals court's decision and removed the case from the docket, calling it moot now that Trump has issued a third travel ban to replace the second.

Accor, CDL bids highlight appetite for acquisitions Featured Articles - 10 October 2017
Two massive hotel deals are in the works—AccorHotels’ proposed buy of Australia’s Mantra and Singapore-based real estate company* CDL’s full buy of Millennium & Copthorne. Both point to issues of distribution, scale and management experience and show a continuing interest in the sector’s business fundamentals. Two likely pieces of hotel industry business that have come to light on 9 October involving companies in the Asia/Pacific region underline the strong pace and desire for mergers and acquisitions, according to sources close to the bids but not able to speak on the record. AccorHotels is pursuing a non-binding takeover of Australian hotel company Mantra Group, according to a statement posted by Mantra to the Australia Stock Exchange and reported by Australian media. The Sydney Morning Herald reports AccorHotels made a $1.2-billion Australian dollar ($932.03 million) offer for Mantra.

Tax reform sparks hope, mild skepticism for hotel execs Featured Articles - 9 October 2017
Hoteliers have been anxiously awaiting a change to the U.S. tax code, hoping elected officials would keep their campaign promises to simplify the code, make it more business-friendly and provide breaks for the middle class to increase their disposable income. After months of talks, teases and failed attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump’s administration and members of Congress have proposed a plan they say will fix the country’s tax code. Hotel News Now reached out to hotel owners and managers to get their impressions on the proposal and what, ultimately, they hope comes from it.

Basel Committee Relaxes Bank Funding Rule

CFO Magazine - 9 October 2017
The net stable funding ratio was supposed to make very large banks safer to deal with in the wake of the liquidity problems encountered during the financial crisis. The more stable a bank’s funding sources, presumably, the more resistant it might be to financial crash, making it a safer counterparty. But now, on the eve of the rule’s implementation date, global banking regulators are looking to make compliance with the net stable funding ratio (NSFR) a little easier.

Accor in $920 million Mantra bid as Australia tourist boom stokes hotel demand - - 9 October 2017
rance's Accor SA has bid A$1.18 billion ($920 million) for Mantra Group Ltd - a deal that would combine the two biggest hotel owners in Australia and seek to capitalize on surging tourism in the country.Accor, already the biggest hotelier in Australia, offered A$3.96 a share, or a 23 percent premium to Mantra's closing price on Friday. The total offer is worth A$4.02 per share if a six-cent final dividend paid in 2017 is included, Mantra said in a statement.

Republicans Worry About Keeping Trump's Middle Class Tax Promise

National Real Estate Investor (NREI) - 9 October 2017
Republican lawmakers in red and blue states are expressing unease over the limited details about middle-class relief in the tax framework their leaders released last month, which has raised difficult questions about how to prevent some middle-income Americans from paying more due to fewer tax breaks.

Metric of the Month: Hurricane-Proof Accounts Receivable

CFO Magazine - 9 October 2017
Delays in accounts receivable (AR) equal less working capital and liquidity, making AR one area where improving efficiency can pay off exponentially. One measure of an efficient process is the number of people it takes to get the work done: The fewer the people it takes to do the job, the more likely it is that the team is doing the work the right way.

Red Lion Is Going Asset Light to Buy Up More Hotel Companies You Haven't Heard Of - Hotels - 9 October 2017
As the hospitality industry gets more consolidated than ever, Red Lion Hotels Corp. is pursuing a crucial strategy to enable it to get bigger. The Denver-based chain’s board of directors said October 5 it approved the sale of 11 of the company’s remaining 18 owned-hotel properties. The decision to sell those properties marks yet one more step in the company’s pursuit of an asset-light strategy, which RLH began about four years ago, said Red Lion chief financial officer Doug Ludwig.


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