||ORD 25 13/20P
||EPS - Basic
||Market Cap (m)
Real-Time news about Thistle Hotels (London Stock Exchange): 0 recent articles
|ainsoph: Not sure this will move the share price any but just seen this - Thistle have just introduced broadband internet access into 5000 bedrooms and 140 meeting rooms in Central London Hotels - charge is 50p a minute with a max charge of £15 in any 24 hour period. Cheap in comparison with many others .....
|ainsoph: Thistle in buyout talks
London, 11/11/2002, (venturedome.com)
UK - Chief executive Ian Burke is reported to be discussing a possible management buyout of Thistle Hotels with the company's adviser, Merrill Lynch.
Sources say Burke is also in talks with a number of institutions about a sale and leaseback of some of Thistle's properties, to increase the share price and raise money for acquisitions.
Last week, Jersey-based Orb Estates said it was considering an offer for Thistle at a 'modest premium' to its 131.5p share price, which values the company at £633m.
Orb, which bought 31 of Thistle's regional hotels and six London hotels in March, is thought to be seeking a deal with Singapore's BIL International, which holds a 46% stake.
Any deal with Orb would be complicated by an ongoing legal wrangle. Thistle has served a writ relating to the original disposal, while Orb is counter-claiming that Thistle owes it £50m from the £600m it spent on the hotels.
Thistle's hotels saw revenues tumble 13.6% in the first half of this year, but with a £364m cash pile from the earlier sale, it is not in a rush to strike a deal.
© Copyright venturedome.com 2002|
|ainsoph: Still holding and waiting on someone to sort them out - NAV way above current cap and shareholder discounts make risk/reward well worth while
Shake-up planned at bid target Thistle
Hotel chain reviews property valuations and considers further disposals.
By Heather Tomlinson
10 November 2002
Takeover target Thistle Hotels is thought to be weighing up a range of buyout or disposal options and discussing a big writedown of its assets.
Sources said Thistle is considering taking up to £90m off the £1bn value of its hotels, though it may ultimately settle on a lower figure. It is consulting its advisers and is expected to raise the issue with its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
It is also understood that chief executive Ian Burke has been tentatively exploring the possibility of a management buyout of the hotel chain and has discussed the idea with Thistle's financial adviser, Merrill Lynch.
Sources have said Mr Burke is also in talks with various institutions over a sale and leaseback of some of Thistle's property, in an effort to increase the company's share price and raise money for potential acquisitions.
The moves emerged after Jersey-based company Orb Estates confirmed last week that it was considering making an offer at a "modest premium" to Thistle's current share price. On Friday the shares closed at 131.5p, valuing the company at £633m. Orb has not yet had formal talks with Thistle's board of directors.
The bid is most likely to occur through a deal with Singapore-quoted BIL International, which owns 46 per cent of the UK hotel chain. Orb, which bought 31 of Thistle's regional hotels and six London hotels in March, is understood to have approached Deutsche Asset Management to back a potential bid. Orb awarded Thistle a 30-year management contract for the hotels it acquired.
Sources have said Deutsche will do a deal if the bid is recommended by the Thistle board. That, however, is unlikely, given that Thistle served a writ on Orb last week in a dispute relating to the original disposal. Orb says it plans to counter claim, alleging it is owed £50m back from the £600m it spent on the hotels.
Thistle's asset valuations have come under scrutiny since rival hotel groups, such as Hanover International, admitted they were reviewing the valuation of their properties. Thistle is experiencing "uncertain" conditions and the hotels it owns suffered a fall in revenues of 13.6 per cent in the first half of the year. But it has £364m in cash from the disposals to Orb and therefore has flexibility in its options.
A company spokesman would not comment on the possibility of a management buyout or further disposals. But he added: "Thistle Hotels reviews the carrying value of assets at the end of each financial year December. The process has not commenced yet, so it is much too early to say what the result will be."
Orb declined to comment. The company hit the spotlight when it made a bid for Izodia, a failed software company that turned into a cash shell, last month.|
|ainsoph: Jersey fund eyes Thistle Hotels
By Carolyn Batt (Filed: 05/11/2002)
Jersey-based investment company Orb Estates said yesterday it was considering a bid for Thistle Hotels "at a modest premium" to the current share price.
The property investment company said the acquisition of London's largest hotel operator was one of "various strategic options" under review, but added that it had not entered formal talks with the Thistle board.
Thistle shares rose 6 to 135.5p, building on Friday's gains. KBC Peel Hunt analyst Peter Joseph said: "Orb has said that any bid would only be at a small premium to the current price. We believe that Thistle is worth considerably more and see Orb's renewed interest as a catalyst for this value to be realised."
He suggested the shares could be worth over 200p. BIL International, Thistle's largest shareholder with a 46pc interest, yesterday issued a statement saying it had not held talks with Orb over the sale of its stake.
However, it is understood Orb is negotiating with Camerlin, a Malaysian company headed by Quek Leng Chan, to acquire its 22pc share of BIL. Mr Chan has one of BIL's two seats on the Thistle board.
"Orb could just go for control of Thistle, or it could launch a full bid," said one analyst. "Today's statement gives them the maximum amount of wriggle room and the minimum amount of commitment."
Thistle said it was aware a major stakeholder in BIL had held talks to sell its interest, but declined to comment. Orb earlier this year bought 37 hotels from Thistle in a £600m sale and leaseback deal.|
|ainsoph: November 05, 2002
Thistle launches lawsuit against Orb
By Jenny Davey Times
THISTLE HOTELS yesterday launched a £14 million lawsuit against Orb Estates, the Jersey property company which is considering a takeover bid for the hotelier, in a move to recover cash which it alleges is still owing from a property deal in March.
Thistle is suing for breach of contract, after alleging Orb ignored repeated demands to settle a £600 million bill covering the sale of 37 hotels.
Orb, which is understood to have paid £586 million relating to the transaction, yesterday filed a counter-claim.
The property group said that it was "surprised" at the move and that it had expected the dispute to go to arbitration. The company added that the timing of Thistle's writ was "interesting".
Earlier Orb confirmed it was considering a bid for Thistle at a "modest premium" to its current share price, which pushed Thistle's shares up by 6p to 135½p, valuing the company at about £652 million. Thistle's shares previously rose 13½p on Friday to 129½p as rumours leaked out of the approach.
Orb has already held talks with Camerlin, a Malaysian company, to buy its 22 per cent stake in BIL International, a Singaporean company that in turn controls 46 per cent of Thistle.
However, Thistle and BIL said yesterday that neither company had been approached directly by Orb.
Thistle was last subject to takeover speculation in February 2001 when Guy Hands, who at that time ran Nomura's Principal Finance Group, approached the Leeds-based company with a £1 billion bid.|
|ainsoph: Times - SHARES in Thistle Hotels trade far below their asset value so it was surely only a matter of time before the group attracted bid interest. Moreover, Thistle's attractions to a predator are enhanced by the fact that more than a third of its assets - about 75p a share - are in hard cash made when the company sold and leased back its regional hotels earlier in the year.
At first glance Orb, the Jersey property company, looks well placed to do the bidding. Orb bought the £600 million of regional hotels sold by Thistle earlier in the year so has prior knowledge of the company. In addition Orb appears to have held discussions with Quek Leng Chan, the Malaysian who sits on the Thistle board and controls BIL, the investment company that owns 46 per cent of Thistle.
But there is little love lost between Thistle and Orb. The two are taking legal proceedings against each other in the wake of its £600 million purchase of the regional hotels. In suggesting it may be prepared to pay a "modest premium" to the current share price Orb is not likely to make any friends at Thistle. A modest premium to the current 135p share price is still likely to equate to a hefty discount to Thistle's net asset value of about 200p.
There should be positive repercussions for Thistle shareholders, however. Orb's move may flush out interest from a bidder with more chance of concluding a deal on friendly terms. Occupancy rates are low but a bid at a price much more adjacent to net asset value could come, especially as Orb paid a price nearer to net asset value when it did the earlier deal with Thistle. It may also prompt Thistle to return cash to shareholders. Hold.
|ainsoph: Thistle Hotels sold 31 regional and six London properties for £600m to venture capitalists Gamma Four in March, a disposal that wilted its interim pre-tax profits to £15m to £16m, down from £29.4m a year earlier. Revenues for the first 20 weeks of this year have dropped 20% for the group's 18 remaining owned or leased hotels, the Telegraph says. The company has continued to suffer from the downturn in tourism, but the prospect of further sales bolsters the share price.|
|ainsoph: upgraded by Deutsche Bank, which believes Thistle is seriously undervalued following its recent share price weakness, dealers said. In an early note, Deutsche Bank raised its stance to 'strong buy' from 'market perform' noting Thistle is undervalued on both an earnings and an underlying asset value basis. Though the broker agrees the current trading environment is challenging -- with REVPAR for the first 20 weeks of the year declining slightly more than the average for the London market -- it expects trading will improve steadily. Furthermore, Thistle's upcoming trading data will benefit from easier comparative figures from now, the broker added, in particular highlighting the very difficult fourth quarter in 2001. It predicts a current year REVPAR slide of 9% in Thistle's London portfolio.|
Thistle Hotels, up 3p to 132p, managed to buck the trend after an upgrade from house broker Deutsche Bank to "strong buy" from "market performer". The German investment bank believes recent share price weakness - Thistle has fallen 16% since selling 37 hotels for £600m in March - has left the company materially undervalued. With a net asset value of 240p, there could be something to that view.|
|ainsoph: March 13, 2002
Thistle displays its potential
Tempus by Robert Cole
SHAREHOLDERS of Thistle Hotels have needed considerable patience. The group floated at 170p five years ago but apart from a brief jump to 250p in 1998, after an abortive approach from Nomura, has traded at a significant discount to the listing price and net asset value.
Yesterday's innovative deal has helped to close the gap between the share price and the 240p net asset value and improve the all-round prospects for the group. It has also helped to reinforce asset values across the sector as a whole. The £600.4 million price being paid by Orb Estates is just 2 per cent shy of the NAV - despite the devastating effect of foot-and-mouth, the terrorism of September 11 and a slowing economy on hoteliers' profits.
In addition, the 37 hotels being sold are Thistle's less attractive properties, comprising 31 regional hotels and six of the less-prestigious London hotels. Thistle will be left with £1 billion of assets, including London landmarks such as the Thistle Tower and the Royal Horseguards plus the Heathrow and Edinburgh Thistles.
Under the terms of the deal, Thistle will get £555.4 million upfront with another £45 million deferred. The group retains management control through a 30-year contract that guarantees the new owners £45 million of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. Given that the 37 hotels earned £55.5 million of profits measured in this way in the annus horribilis that was 2001, it is safe to assume it will meet the target.
The downside for Thistle is that it is giving up operating profits of £42.1 million in return for anticipated management fees of about £8 million to £10 million. This is likely to lead to dilution in earnings per share of 9 per cent this year.
It would take a share buyback of just £200 million to offset that dilution. But it is clear that Ian Burke, Thistle's chief executive, has other ideas on how to use the sale proceeds. Thistle has previously been hindered from expanding by the need to invest £200 million in a three-year refurbishment programme. There are suggestions that he will now look to buy new hotels in key cities - the Copthorne chain could suit. Mr Burke may also take some first steps across the Channel.
Shares - up 11p to 151p - could have further to go in spite of the strong run ahead of the transaction. If they go much above 200p, BIL International and the Government of Singapore, holders of a combined 59 per cent, may at last seek the exit they have long craved. But hold.|
Thistle Hotels share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange