Hyatt May Acquire Hotel Group To Grow In Europe

Hyatt may be considering acquisitions to expand its European operations. But what might that look like?Hyatts European growth goalsSkift reported that Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian, yesterday's investor call host, stated that the company hopes to grow.We believe that we have overcome the pandemic, and are now in recovery mode with healthy cashflow and earnings. Our top priority is to grow the company in a strategic and deliberate manner.All signs point to this growth being directed at Europe and in the form of an acquisition of an existing brand rather than hoping to sign management agreements for individual hotels. Hyatt had been focused on Europe growth before the pandemic. Those plans were put on hold, however. Hyatt hopes to continue where it left off now that things are improving.Why Europe rather than Asia? Hoplamazian stated that there are more opportunities for franchise growth in Europe than Asia because Asia isn't a highly penetrated franchise market.Hyatt's most recent growth came in 2018 when it acquired Two Roads Hospitality. This has given us amazing brands like Alila and Thompson.In 2018, Hyatt bought Two Roads Hospitality, bringing us AlilaWhich hotel group could Hyatt buy?Here are some things to keep in mind:Hyatt may be considering buying another hotel group, but that doesn't mean it will happen.The rumors are centered on Hyatt buying another company rather than Hyatt getting acquired by another company. I would hate to see this happen as it would have dire consequences for World of Hyatt.Hyatt has a fantastic partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World, (SLH), which opens up all sorts of hotels in Europe. However, there aren't any acquisition opportunities because SLH is a marketing company and not a hotel management company.Canaves Oia epitome Santorini is an SLH propertyThis being said, what existing hotel groups could Hyatt acquire? A few thoughts spring to mind.IHG, Radisson and Accor all have large presences in Europe. However, I believe that's too expensive and big for Hyatt to make a purchase right now. It is not what they are looking for.Rocco Forte owns about a dozen luxury hotels across Europe. Rocco Forte is complementary to Hyatt because it has five-star hotels that Hyatt doesn't.Kempinski owns 75+ hotels in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The portfolio complements Hyatts, which almost all of the luxury hotels in the world.Scandic, a Swedish hotel group, has 250+ hotels mainly in Northern Europe. This would help Hyatt grow in Europe.Melia, a Spanish hotel group with 350+ hotels mainly in Europe, is an attractive acquisition target.Villa Kenney Frankfurt, a Rocco Forte hotelPersonally, I'd love to see Hyatt buy Rocco Forte and Kempinski (in this order). Because I value the way luxury hotels are part of major hotel programs. It's a way to receive great value and perks. However, I think Hyatt may be more focused on the mid-range market and limited service market. This is because Hyatt's presence in this area is still very small compared to other competitors. I will not let that stop me from dreaming and hoping.Bottom lineHyatt wants to expand in Europe and appears to be looking at the possibility of buying an existing European hotel group. Although this is not a sure thing, there seem to be a few good options.Although Hyatts European managed footprint is small, I find the SLH partnership really useful and makes up for some of its shortcomings. As long as the properties are not detrimental to the existing SLH partnership, more properties would be a positive thing.Which hotel group would you like to see Hyatt acquire in Europe?