The entire equity stake of Vienna International Hotelmanagement AG (Vienna House) has been acquired by Vienna House Capital. In the months since the contract signing in mid-February, the agreement was prepared for closing, subjected to an antitrust review and confirmed on 31 May 2017. Vienna House Capital is the Austrian subsidiary of Thailand’s U City PCL (U City) with headquarters in Vienna.
In addition to the entire equity stake, the acquisition also included seven hotel properties and the operating company for andel’s by Vienna House Cracow, which had been owned by the Warimpex Group and partially by UBM Development AG. These properties were incorporated into the Vienna House Group. The total transaction amounts to approximately EUR 335 million. All of the acquired hotels were already under management by Vienna House.
U City is a listed Thai commercial property company. Its largest shareholder is the family-operated BTS Group (BTSG), one of Thailand’s top publicly listed companies with a market capitalisation of EUR 2.7 billion. With the family of Chairman Keeree Kanjanapas and his son Kavin Kanjanapas (CEO), Vienna House has found a strategic partner who shares the company’s vision for the hotel industry and who supports Vienna House’s business objectives.
“The deal will strengthen the capital structure of Vienna House to secure further investments in international growth, in the business architecture and in pioneering services. That means that our strategy will focus on growth through management and lease agreements but also through suitable purchases of individual properties or entire portfolios. Another strong focus of mine will be on strategic asset management and acquisitions,” explains Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna House.
The management board consists as before of Rupert Simoner, Chief Executive Officer, and Martin Ykema, Chief Operating Officer with the new additions of Johanna Weichselbaumer, Chief Financial Officer, and Daniel Ross, Chief Investment Officer. Weichselbaumer, who has been with the group for over 25 years, plays a substantial role in the transaction process. In his dual function as CIO of Vienna House and BTSG, Ross will work with Simoner to further grow the company through investments in portfolio expansion.
The transaction was managed by Credit Suisse on the seller’s side and the auditing company Ernst & Young on the buyer’s side. Vienna House was assisted by BDO Austria GmbH. “I can only express my greatest praise for all companies involved,” says Simoner, adding: “Lead manager Credit Suisse and Robert Ehrenhöfer (Director Head Corporate Advisory Austria) delivered an outstanding performance, always keeping an eye on the common goal of successfully concluding this extensive transaction with all participating companies.”
The new supervisory board consists of: Ann Piyaporn Phanachet (Chairwoman and U City CEO), John Westoby (Vice Chairman and U City Hospitality Director), Jonathan Wigley (Member of the Board and AHS Hotels CEO) and Sayam Siwarapornskul (BTSG Chief Legal Officer).
The following properties will be incorporated into the Vienna House Group: Vienna House Amber Baltic Miedzyzdroje, andel’s by Vienna House Lodz, angelo by Vienna House Katowice, Vienna House Easy Chopin Cracow, Vienna House Diplomat Prague, angelo by Vienna House Pilsen, angelo by Vienna House Bucharest and the operating company for andel’s by Vienna House Cracow. All other lease and management agreements will remain unaffected.