Hyatt will open nine new hotels
in Africa by 2020
24 - 29 September 2018
Digital Realty acquires Ascenty for US$ 1.8 bn
it & BPM i FOOD I HEALTHCARE i TEXTILES i INFRASTRUCTURE i ENGINEERING i tourism
Sonic Corp. to be acquired by Inspire Brands in US$2.3 bn transaction
THE DEFINITIVE SOURCE FOR INVESTMENT PROMOTION EXECUTIVES
Porsche invests in Swiss start-up WayRay
Alexion to acquire Syntimmune
for US$ 1.2 bn
Sensata Technologies acquires GIGAVAC
Infosys partners with Google Cloud
Starwood Energy to acquire two combined-cycle plants from Dominion Energy
BMW Group and Daimler plan to headquarter joint mobility company in Berlin
Sensata Technologies acquires GIGAVAC
Apple has completed the acquisition of Shazam
ORGANIK KIMYA acquires VILLA INDUSTRIE CHIMICHE
Thoma Bravo completes acquisition of Quorum Software
Digital Realty acquires Ascenty for $1.8 billion
Tata Steel to acquire steel business of Usha Martin Limited
Eni and GE Renewable Energy to power Badamsha plant in Kazakhstan
BC Partners to acquire
Facebook will invest $750 million to expand its data center in Henrico County, USA
MHP Seeking to acquire Perutnina Ptuj
Evoke acquires Navience Healthcare Solutions, LLC
Al Diyar United and Rotana Hotel announce the launch of Centro Salama Jeddah
Grubhub announces acquisition of Tapingo
Hormel Foods expands Burke manufacturing facility in Nevada, Iowa
IHG to bring Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to Bangkok, Thailand
Almirall closes agreement with Allergan to acquires its US dermatology portfolio
Choice Hotels expands Middle East presence with Seven New Hotels
Alexion to acquire Syntimmune for $1.2 billion
Hyatt will open nine new hotels in Africa by 2020
Sonic Corp. to be acquired by Inspire Brands in $2.3 billion transaction
Hampton by Hilton opens flagship hotel in China
Digital Realty, a leading global provider of data center solutions, placement and interconnection, announced that its Brazilian subsidiary, Stellar Participações Ltda. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ascenty, a leading data center provider in Brazil, of the private equity fund Great Hill Partners, in a transaction valued at approximately US $ 1.8 billion.
Separately, Digital Realty signed a bilateral, independent, equity commitment with Brookfield Infrastructure, an affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management, one of the largest owners and operators of global infrastructure assets, according to which Brookfield has committed to finance half of the initial capital investment required, currently estimated at about $ 613 million, excluding Brookfield's stake in transaction costs, in exchange for 49% of total shareholdings in a joint venture entity that is to own Ascenty.
Digital Realty is positioned as the leading provider in the rapidly growing Latin American region
Excellent high-quality portfolio
Significant projection of integrated growth:
The proprietary fiber network represents competitive advantage
Experienced management team
Read article on globalfdi.net
Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology and next-generation services, announced a new partnership with Google Cloud to develop cloud transformation and migration services. Through this partnership that enhances Infosys’ existing capabilities, the company will offer solutions and services on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), creating a scalable, on-demand cloud model that will enable enterprises to easily transition and adopt a cloud-first strategy.
As part of this partnership, Infosys has built artificial intelligence and machine learning-driven industry-specific solutions on GCP that are foundational to digitizing the data supply chain, such as Analytics Workbench, which augments data platforms to deliver end-to-end self-service capabilities, Information Grid, which provides a data pipeline for seamless movement of data to Google Cloud (GCP), and Customer Genome, a holistic offering that helps enterprises build a self-service driven and entity-centric foundation for explorative, predictive and prescriptive analytics. These solutions will enable enterprises to modernize their IT and use the power of insights to monetize and digitize their businesses as they navigate the next stages in their transformation journey.
In addition, Infosys also announced the launch of a new offering called the ‘Data Native Intelligent Enterprise’ powered by the ‘Infosys Digital Brain’ on GCP. Data Native Intelligent Enterprise is a solution that learns from the data collected from various sources, connects it across silos using Artificial Intelligence and encodes this intelligence. This allows enterprises to react to external signals in real time and create intelligent, engaging experiences for their customers. This offering will help organizations accelerate their digital journeys and lead them towards sustainable growth.
Infosys partners with
Apple announced it has completed its acquisition of Shazam, one of the world’s most popular and highly-rated music apps, used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
“Apple and Shazam have a long history together. Shazam was one of the first apps available when we launched the App Store and has become a favourite app for music fans everywhere,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music. “With a shared love of music and innovation, we are thrilled to bring our teams together to provide users even more great ways to discover, experience and enjoy music.”
Shazam lets users identify songs simply by listening to the music playing around them. The app will soon offer its experience ad-free for all users so everyone can enjoy the best of Shazam without interruption.
Grubhub, the nation's leading online and mobile food-ordering and delivery marketplace, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Tapingo, a leading platform for campus food ordering.
With over 150 college campus partners, Tapingo enables tens of thousands of order-ahead transactions per day for more than half a million active diners at on-campus cafes, restaurants, and cashier-less stores. The combination of Tapingo's network with Grubhub's restaurant marketplace and delivery capabilities will bring greater convenience to students and help campus restaurants capitalize on pickup and delivery orders.
Tapingo's U.S.- and Israel-based teams have built a technology platform custom designed for campus use, with direct integration into college meal plans and point-of-sale (POS) systems, ensuring seamless order-taking and accurate, up-to-the-minute transparency on wait times for diners. The Tapingo platform also streamlines operations and increases in-store efficiency for campus restaurant partners—including Taco Bell, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Panda Express and Jamba Juice—and powers partnerships with Aramark and Sodexo, the leading providers of food services and facilities management nationwide.
Thoma Bravo, LLC, a leading private equity investment firm, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Quorum Software ("Quorum" or "the Company"), the leader in digital transformation for the oil and gas industry. Financial details were not disclosed.
Quorum's purpose-built software provides integrated solutions for its customers' core processing demands across the upstream, midstream and downstream segments of the oil and gas value chain. Quorum's portfolio of innovative software solutions addresses a broad spectrum of energy companies' needs, from operations to accounting, plant management and financial forecasting. Quorum is the preferred software provider to over 75% of the largest oil and gas producers in the United States.
"Thoma Bravo has the resources, insight and ability to strengthen Quorum's position as the leading provider of software solutions to the ever-evolving, dynamic energy sector," said Perry Turbes, Chief Executive Officer of Quorum. "This partnership will enhance the already impressive track record of services and support we provide our customers in the oil and gas industry."
Tata Steel acquires steel business of Usha Martin Limited
Tata Steel Limited hereby announces that it has executed definitive agreements for acquisition of the steel business of Usha Martin Limited (‘UML’) through a Slump Sale on a going concern basis. The closing of the acquisition is subject to fulfilment of various conditions under the agreements. At the closing, Tata Steel or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates may carry out this acquisition. The parties shall jointly work towards fulfilment of conditions precedent which are largely regulatory approvals required for the transfer of the business undertaking. All the employees pertaining to the steel business will transfer as part of the acquisition.
The steel business undertaking of UML inter-alia comprises of a specialized ~1.0 mtpa alloy based manufacturing capacity in long products segment based in Jamshedpur, a producing iron-ore mine, a coal mine under development and captive power plants. The acquisition is part of the overall strategy to build capability in long products and expand product offerings including high-value added products.
Sensata Technologies, an industrial technology company and a leading provider of sensors, announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire privately-held GIGAVAC, LLC for an enterprise value of approximately $233 million, funded out of the company’s cash balances.
As demand for electrification grows, Sensata’s solutions are helping customers improve the efficiency, performance, and safety of electrified vehicles and equipment. Today, Sensata has expanding positions in high-growth applications such as electrical protection, thermal management, and regenerative braking. The addition of GIGAVAC’s portfolio will enable Sensata to tap into a broad $1 billion market opportunity for high-voltage contactors required in electrified products such as cars, delivery trucks, buses, material handling equipment, and charging stations.
GIGAVAC will immediately augment Sensata’s ongoing investments in mission-critical sensing and electrical protection across electrified vehicles and industrial equipment.
Sensata Technologies to acquire GIGAVAC
ORGANIK KIMYA, a leading manufacturer and supplier of specialty chemicals based in Istanbul , Turkey, announced the acquisition of VILLA INDUSTRIE CHIMICHE , a Milan- based specialty chemical supplier for textiles, in Italy.
VILLA INDUSTRIE CHIMICHE started its activities in 1962 with the production of auxiliary chemicals for textiles. Based in Milan , the company has grown to the forefront of the Italian market and then diversified into foreign markets.
Stefano Kaslowski , CEO of ORGANIK KIMYA , said the acquisition is part of ORGANIK KIMYA 's growth strategy as it strengthens its commercial presence and extends its geographic reach into the specialized textile chemicals market. one of the first commercial segments of ORGANIK KIMYA where it is strongly present thanks to its acrylic polymers.
ORGANIK KIMYA will continue to work on the value creation and synergies offered by the proposed acquisition in order to provide creative solutions for products and services to its customers, while developing in the acrylic solutions markets.
Porsche has invested in WayRay; the up-and-coming technology start-up from Zurich develops and produces holographic augmented reality head-up display technologies and is working on seamlessly integrating virtual objects into the driving experience. Porsche has bought into WayRay as a strategic lead investor during the current Series C funding round. The total value of the financing round is 80 million US dollars (69 million euro).
Porsche has taken a stake in WayRay alongside Hyundai Motor, JVCKENWOOD and various funds, positioning itself alongside investors such as Alibaba Group. The collaboration between WayRay and Porsche forms part of the “Startup Autobahn” innovation platform and will now be strategically developed to actively drive forward the future-oriented technology and its use cases in the automotive industry.
WayRay is working with various manufacturers to open up the technology to new fields of application.
“The team at WayRay has unique technical expertise, with its employees having backgrounds in aerospace, hardware and software development. WayRay’s innovative ideas and products have proven to have enormous potential. We are convinced that by joining forces with WayRay we will in future be able to offer our customers solutions to the usual standard expected of Porsche.
BMW Group and Daimler AG plan to headquarter joint mobility company in Berlin
The BMW Group and Daimler AG plan to locate the headquarters of their proposed global mobility company in Berlin. The two partners are purposely seeking to establish this innovative mobility services provider outside of their respective Group structures in the dynamic environment of Germany’s capital city. At the same time, the globally positioned joint venture will maintain its international presence as a success factor.
“Our vision is to create a major global player for seamless and intelligent connected mobility services together. As a hub for creativity and innovation, Berlin is exactly the right location for our plans,” according to Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
“The future of mobility is being shaped in major cities like Berlin. With the ecosystem we are planning, we will create solutions for tomorrow's urban mobility: intelligent, seamlessly connected and available at the tap of a finger. We believe this will improve quality of life in major cities,” explained Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
Almirall, S.A. (ALM) has announced the closing of the agreement for the acquisition of a portfolio of five products from Allergan's Medical Dermatology unit in the United States, which will further enhance Almirall's portfolio in the largest dermatology market in the world. The transaction has been closed for a cash consideration of $550MM. This agreement also contemplates a possible earn-out, up to $100 MM and payable in Q1/2022, depending on business performance. It is immediately EPS accretive from 2019 onwards and enhances Almirall's portfolio in the US.
The transaction is simple and fully synergistic —no corporate structure, promotional salesforce or manufacturing is included— and it has received the support of investors and analysts, who have raised the target price of Almirall's shares on the stock market since the deal was announced in August 3rd, 2018. Almirall is focused on its medical dermatology franchise which will become a key growth driver after this deal, representing circa 45% of net sales (proforma). As a consequence, the company will look at strategic options for its aesthetic business.
Portfolio acquired from Allergan
The acquired portfolio includes a NCE and four key mature and growth brands: Aczone® (dapsone), Tazorac®(tazarotene), Azelex® (azelaic acid) and Cordran® Tape (fludroxycortide). These four products, already marketed, generated total sales in US of $70MM in the first 6 months of 2018. Allergan will provide support to Almirall to ensure a smooth transition of the portfolio.
Almirall closes agreement with Allergan and acquires
its US medical dermatology portfolio
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Syntimmune announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Alexion to acquire Syntimmune, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing antibody therapeutics targeting the neonatal Fc receptor SYNT001 – a humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits the interaction of FcRn with Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG immune complexes – has the potential to improve treatment in a number of rare IgG-mediated diseases. SYNT001 is currently being evaluated in Phase 1b/2a studies in patients with warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia (WAIHA) and in patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV) or pemphigus foliaceus (PF) and has demonstrated proof of mechanism showing rapid IgG reduction. Under the terms of the agreement, Alexion will acquire Syntimmune for an upfront payment of $400 million, with the potential for additional milestone-dependent payments of up to $800 million, for a total value of up to $1.2 billion.
“Targeting FcRn holds great promise in transforming the treatment of IgG-mediated diseases. SYNT001 has successfully demonstrated proof of mechanism – the ability to rapidly lower IgG levels – in early clinical studies and has the potential to treat a number of rare IgG-mediated diseases,” said Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alexion.
“The acquisition of Syntimmune represents a critical step in rebuilding Alexion’s pipeline and further diversifying the company’s clinical-stage rare disease portfolio. It offers a strong strategic fit with Alexion’s existing rare disease franchises and provides the opportunity to transform patient care in diseases like warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia, where SYNT001 is the first, and currently the only, anti-FcRn therapy in clinical development.”
Evoke, part of Huntsworth plc , announces the acquisition of New Jersey-based Navience Healthcare Solutions. Navience is a full-service market access and payer marketing agency helping clients navigate the complexities of the ever-changing market access landscape by identifying, developing and executing tailored solutions, backed by a robust analytics offering. The acquisition is expected to complete in early October.
“The influence of the payer, in the medical decision-making process and to the success or failure of any given product in today’s healthcare landscape, cannot be overstated,” said Reid Connolly, CEO of Evoke. “This influence affects the strategies and solutions we offer clients across all audiences and channels. That’s why Navience is such an ideal fit within our agency, adding incredible value to the marketing and communications expertise our client partners require.”
Led by Principal John Shamsey, a client-side veteran, Navience has quickly grown to become one of the leaders in the Market Access and Payer marketing space. The Navience team delivers a customer-centric approach offering clients a full spectrum of services from research and insights, advanced analytics to a full suite of creative and agency services. Shamsey will continue to lead Navience, serving on the Evoke leadership team and reporting to Reid Connolly. As an integral part of the Evoke team, the agency will now be called Evoke Navience.
Facebook will invest $750 mn to expand its data center in Henrico County, USA
Governor Ralph Northam announced that Facebook will invest an additional $750 million to expand its data center in Henrico County. This investment is in addition to the $1 billion investment in Henrico County that Facebook announced last year. The company will construct three new 500,000 square-foot buildings, bringing the planned total square footage to over 2.4 million square feet.
Facebook anticipates that the expanded site will support over 200 jobs once operational and will represent more than 1,500 construction jobs at peak. In addition, this phase will be supported by 100 percent renewable energy through the renewable energy tariff offered by Dominion Energy.
“The Commonwealth’s data center industry is one of the strongest in the nation, and Facebook’s decision to make a second substantial investment in Henrico County less than a year after its first announcement speaks volumes about the quality of our workforce, IT infrastructure, and business climate,” said Governor Northam. “We are honored to have Facebook on our corporate roster, and we look forward to building on our partnership. Virginia is committed to providing the framework, tech talent, and training programs for industries of the future, and today is another milestone in our efforts to win major projects for the Commonwealth.”
ORIX to sign a strategic alliance agreement with Shougang Group
ORIX Corporation announced to sign a strategic alliance agreement with Shougang Group. ORIX will collaborate with Shougang Group in diversified business fields including infrastructure management in China.
Established in 1919 and headquartered in Beijing, Shougang Group has experienced a history of nearly 100 years. At present, the Group has developed into a large-sized enterprise group centering on iron and steel and concurrently running businesses in financial sector such as commercial bank, lease, investment fund operation, public infrastructure sector such as car parking operation, hospital operation, and environment sector.
As the first step of the collaboration, ORIX made an investment in Shougang Concord International ("Shougang Concord"), which is a car parking operation and management subsidiary of Shougang Group, through ORIX Asia Capital Limited, the wholly owned investment arm of ORIX in the Greater China region. ORIX will hold 6.3% of Shougang Concord’ share after the investment.
Starwood Energy Group Global, LLC, a leading private investment firm focused on energy infrastructure, announced that it has signed an agreement to buy a 100 percent interest in two combined-cycle gas turbine ("CCGT") plants totaling 1,708 MW from Dominion Energy for approximately $1.23 billion. The two assets are comprised of the 1,240 MW Fairless Power Station ("Fairless") located in Pennsylvania, and the 468 MW Manchester Street Power Station ("Manchester") located in Rhode Island.
Fairless, which was constructed in 2004, is a highly efficient natural gas fired power plant, located 25 miles outside of Philadelphia in Fairless Hills, PA, within the EMAAC zone of PJM. Manchester, located in Providence, RI, was repowered as a CCGT in 1995 and dispatches into the SENE zone of ISO-NE. Both plants are located in regional transmission organizations that provide a forward capacity market for electric generation assets.
"The acquisition of the Fairless and Manchester facilities is consistent with our strategy of buying or building core infrastructure assets in attractive locations close to customer demand. We welcome the plant employees and look forward to working with local communities as we own and operate these high quality assets," said Himanshu Saxena, CEO of Starwood Energy.
Starwood Energy to acquire two combined-cycle plants from Dominion Energy
for $1.2 billion
Eni and GE Renewable Energy announced that GE will supply 13 of GE's 3.8-130 onshore wind turbines, with a hub height of 85m, 3.8MW of power and a 130 meter rotor, for the Badamsha project in Kazakhstan. With its 48MW of wind power the plant will increase the Country's wind capacity by 25%.
The two companies held a joint-meeting at Wind Europe, one of the biggest and most important meetings of the wind industry worldwide, attended by Jérôme Pécresse, President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy, and Luca Cosentino, Executive Vice President of Energy Solutions department in Eni, to celebrate the milestone for both companies. The Badamsha plant, located in the north-west region in the Aktobe oblast, represents Eni's first large-scale investment in wind power and GE's first wind onshore plant in Kazakhstan.
Mr. Pécresse said: "Badamsha marks our first wind project with Eni and our first in Kazakhstan. We are extremely proud to be working alongside Eni during an exciting time for them and for the entire energy segment, where GE Renewable Energy's role as integrator enables better synergies across our industries."
"With this project Eni is pleased to fully support the Country's ambitious goal to procure 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. The Badamsha plant represents a first concrete achievement of the Memorandum of Understanding we signed last year with GE and the Ministry of Energy, Kanat Bozumbayev. We expect to have it in operation by the end of 2019", Luca Cosentino said. He also underlined that Eni plans to invest 1.2 billion euros over the next four years on its renewable energy portfolio, which includes worldwide solar, wind and hybrid projects.
Funds advised by BC Partners, a leading international investment firm, announced the signing of a definitive agreement whereby BC Partners will acquire majority ownership of United Group B.V. (“United Group”) from KKR, a leading global investment firm. KKR will retain a substantial minority stake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.
United Group is the leading media and communication services provider across South East Europe. Through significant investments in digital infrastructure, content and proprietary technology, it provides market-leading services to its customers across the region. Over the past 18 years the Group has expanded its presence through both organic growth and acquisitions, now employing over 3,400 staff and providing services to over 1.8m homes.
Nikos Stathopoulos, Partner at BC Partners said: “We are delighted to partner with United Group’s management team and KKR to support the company’s next phase of growth. United Group is a high-quality asset, with defensive growth characteristics, leading infrastructure, differentiated content and loyal customers. Its attractive and integrated business model and regional leadership position it well for further organic and acquisitive growth.”
Sonic Corp. and Inspire Brands, Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Inspire will acquire Sonic for approximately $2.3 billion including the assumption of Sonic’s net debt.
Inspire is a multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio includes more than 4,700 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Rusty Taco locations worldwide. Following the completion of the transaction, Sonic will be a privately-held subsidiary of Inspire and will continue to be operated as an independent brand.
The agreement, which has been unanimously approved by Sonic’s Board of Directors, represents a premium of approximately 19% per share to Sonic’s closing stock price on September 24, 2018 and a premium of approximately 21% to Sonic’s 30-day volume-weighted average price.
“Sonic is a highly differentiated brand and is an ideal fit for the Inspire family,” said Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Brands. “We have tremendous respect for Sonic’s exceptional team of employees and franchise owners, who have built one of the industry’s most distinctive restaurant brands.”
Hormel Foods Corporation, a global branded food company announced that it will be investing approximately $150 million in an expansion of the company’s Burke manufacturing facility in Nevada, Iowa. Burke is one of the leading providers of pizza toppings and other fully cooked meat products in the foodservice and prepared food industries.
The 210,000-square-foot expansion is one of the largest in the company’s history. Adding to the current 225,000 square feet of production, warehouse, and offices, the expansion would also add approximately 210 new jobs in addition to the current 350 team members.
“This expansion of our Burke facility is a significant and strategic investment, allowing us to continue to expand and accelerate growth in our foodservice portfolio,” said Jim Snee, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods. “Burke has been a leader in the pizza topping industry, and this expansion will provide them with the additional capacity to meet the growing demand for its products.”
“This investment is a testament to the Burke team and the pride every one of our team members puts into the creation of our customer’s products,” said Chad Randick, president of Burke Marketing Corporation. “The expansion will be a positive force for the Nevada community, bringing added jobs and boosting the local economy. We are proud to expand in Nevada and Story County where Burke has called home since 1974.”
MHP SE, one of the leading international agro-industrial groups, following the announcement from the Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde confirms it is seeking to acquire Perutnina Ptuj, a well-established and vertically integrated company in Southeast Europe.
MHP is a vertically integrated company and a leading poultry producer in Ukraine with cutting facilities in the EU (the Netherlands and Slovakia) and a sales and distribution office in MENA (UAE).
MHP sells around 60% of its poultry products domestically and around 40% to over 60 countries across the world. Being one the most efficient producers in the industry worldwide enables the Company to control the risks and quality of goods at every level of the production process. This ensures all the Company’s standards and management of the processes are in line with Ukrainian legislation and current EU guidelines. A key part of MHP’s success to date has been an intensive CAPEX programme (around US$1.75 billion invested during the last 10 years into green-field projects), a strong and experienced management team, and an integrated business model.
MHP is undertaking a strategic step with this expansion, which will add value to the Company and strengthen its position as a global player, while Perutnina Ptuj is obtaining a strategic long-term investor. Perutnina Ptuj has a strong brand and significant share of poultry value-added products, which MHP is ready to support over the coming years through investment and further development.
MHP seeking to acquire Perutnina Ptuj
Choice Hotels International, Inc. announced plans to bring seven additional hotels to Saudi Arabia under its Comfort and Quality brands. The new hotels represent the first tranche of a broader strategy to open 30 Choice-branded hotels to the Kingdom.
The hotels include:
Three Comfort Inn & Suites hotels in Riyadh.
One Comfort Suites and two Quality Inn & Suites hotels in Jeddah.
One Comfort Inn & Suites in Taif.
The announcement advances Choice’s strategy to expand internationally and follows the previously signed master development agreement with an affiliate of one of the largest tourism and travel companies in the Middle East, Al-Tayyar Travel Group.
All seven hotels will be operated through hotel-management agreements between CHME Ltd., a subsidiary of Al-Tayyar Travel Group, under a master license agreement with Choice Hotels. Four of these hotels already are under construction and expected to open beginning in the third quarter of 2019.
At a signing ceremony in Riyadh, Choice Hotels President and CEO Patrick Pacious said, “International growth remains a key strategic focus for Choice, and the Kingdom presents an attractive market for expansion. We are proud to leverage our decades of midscale experience to bring more hospitality options that travelers desire to the region.”
Al-Tayyar Travel Group CEO Abdullah Al Dawood said, “This is only the beginning of our group’s transformation plan, announced last year, to develop and operate 6,000 keys by 2022. We are confident in Choice’s expertise and ability to help us deliver a high-quality hospitality experience to meet the needs of the fast-growing midscale segment in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”
Rotana, one of the leading hotel management companies in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, and Al Diyar United, has announced the launch of Centro Salama Jeddah, the first hotel project to be funded and developed in partnership with Al Diyar United Company, one of the leading real estate developers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The new hotel, which is the second under the ‘Centro by Rotana’ brand in Jeddah and the third in the Kingdom, features 189 rooms and suites, all designed with a modern style and contemporary feel so that guests can enjoy maximum comfort. The hotel provides a new concept for hospitality in the region and is expected to gain popularity among business and leisure travelers alike.
Al Diyar United Company CEO, Mr. Muaz Yassine Kadi, stated that the success of this project demonstrates the benefits of the strategic partnership between Al Diyar United Company and Rotana Group.
“We are happy and honoured to showcase our expertise in the local hospitality sector and to bring to life our partnership with Rotana,one of the biggest names in the hotel industry.” said Mr. Kadi. “This project confirms our position as one of the leading real estate developers in the Kingdom, where we have other projects across many sectors. Now, we look forward to continuing our partnership with Rotana by establishing additional developments in the near future.”
IHG(InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has signed a management agreement with Siam Sindhorn to debut the leading boutique hotel brand, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, in Bangkok — the first Kimpton hotel in Thailand, and second across the South East Asia and Korea region.
Opening in 2020, the new-built Kimpton Bangkok will feature 349 curated and artfully designed guest rooms, including 124 serviced residences, under an hour’s drive fromSuvarnabhumi Airport. Located in the heart of the Langsuan area and nestled right beside Lumpini Park, one of the largest public parks in the city, it will offer the best of both worlds — convenient access to the city’s prime districts including Sukhumvit, Silom, Siam and Chidlom, combined with the tranquillity and unobstructed greenery views of Lumpini Park.
Commenting on this landmark signing, Clarence Tan, Managing Director South East Asia and Korea (SEAK), IHG said: “In line with our plans to bring our Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants brand to highly sought-after destinations across the globe, we want to address the rising needs of travellers in the region for a sophisticated yet personalised lifestyle travel experience. The brand is iconic for its heartfelt and unconventional approach to boutique hospitality, and we’re confident that Kimpton Bangkok will be no exception — delighting guests with an unscripted ridiculously personalised experience, right in the heart of one of Bangkok’s most desirable locations.”
Hilton Worldwide announced the opening of Hampton by Hilton Guangzhou Zhujiang New Town, its newest Hampton by Hilton hotel and flagship property for the brand in China. The 223-room hotel joins the Hampton portfolio of more than 2,100 hotels around the world. Hampton by Hilton Guangzhou Zhujiang New Town is located in the Tianhe District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China and is managed by Huanpeng Hotel Management (Guangzhou) Limited.
"China is the 20th country that Hampton has entered, and for the city of Guangzhou, it is not only a strategic city and the 'south gate' of China, but is also the center of politics, economy, science, education and culture of Guangdong Province and the Pearl River Delta. We are especially happy that Hampton by Hilton's flagship hotel has opened in Guangzhou and are confident that the hotel will contribute positively to the development of Guangzhou's tourism industry," said Phil Cordell, global head, Focused Service and Hampton Brand Management, Hilton Worldwide. "It represents a breakthrough for Hampton's development in the China market. With a strong partner like Plateno Group, I have every confidence that the brand will achieve a similar success as in the United States."
Hampton by Hilton Guangzhou Zhujiang New Town is conveniently located at the intersection of bustling Zhujiang New Town central business district and the popular Tianhe Sports Center business zone. Close to the Guangzhou business and financial hubs such as the Guangzhou International Finance Center, Citic Plaza, Pazhou Complex and the Guangzhou East Railway Station, the hotel offers easy access to the city's most popular leisure, shopping and entertainment venues. Fully taking into consideration the demands of business travelers and families with kids, the hotel focuses on creating an easy, enjoyable, and relaxing atmosphere that leaves guests feeling like they are staying with a friend.
Hyatt announced nine new hotels to open in Africa by 2020
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that nine additional Hyatt-branded hotels are expected to open in Africa by the end of 2020. Fulfilling last year’s goal for the Kenyan market, the announcement focuses on the first dual-branded Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels on the continent, the return of the Hyatt brand to Cairo, new Park Hyatt and Hyatt Regency hotels in Morocco, and Hyatt hotels in three new countries: Algeria, Ethiopia, and Senegal.
Africa, and particularly East Africa, remains a focus for Hyatt with an increasingly favorable business climate and heightened tourism spend, encouraged by relaxed visa rules, travel incentives, and a growing middle class. Together these factors are shaping demand for diversified accommodations, ranging from full-service luxury destinations and select-service hotels. According to the UNWTO Tourism Highlights: 2018 Edition, international tourist arrivals in sub-Saharan Africa have grown by 5.8 percent from 2005 to 2017, which is well above the global average of 4.2 percent. Furthermore, the continent saw a sustained growth of 8.6 percent in international tourist arrivals last year.
Domestic travel is expected to grow due to the Single African Air Travel Market (SAATM) initiative that launched earlier this year. While UNCTAD’s Economic Development in Africa Report 2017 noted four out of 10 travelers in Africa originate from the region, this number is expected to grow with the SAATM initiative, therefore fueling demand for mid-market options in the continent’s bustling centers and regional hubs such as Nairobi, Lagos, Addis Ababa, and Johannesburg. Leveraging global flight reservation information, travel data company Forward Keys has stated long-haul international flights to Nairobi have grown by 8 percent as businesses take advantage of the recent multi-million dollar expansion of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and newly announced routes from Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Accra.
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