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Unknown Tax Reform Policies To Slow Hotel M&A Deals

Hotel room, hotel industry

Hospitality industry executives foresee talks of hotel company consolidation persisting as we continue into the year, though actual mergers and acquisitions may be held up pending future tax reform. 

From the Marriott-Starwood merger to InterContinental Hotels Group’s $2.95B purchase of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, the last few years have seen increased consolidation in the hotel industry. Michael Bluhm, Morgan Stanley global head of lodging, said at NYU’s International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference that he expects this trend will continue, but that companies will likely wait to see what happens in Washington regarding tax reform specifics before striking deals, Hotel News Now reports.

Bluhm said Hilton and Marriott are doing well with their franchises, and said REITs are still trying to find the best way to approach mergers and acquisitions. Deutsche Bank Global Head of Real Estate Investment Drew Goldman said there are not many possible transactions left when it comes to corporate-level deals. When it comes to REITs, Goldman said M&As do not typically add much synergy, making it hard for the trusts to justify the costs.