In an interview with Bloomberg Television interview on Friday, June 14, 2019, in Bangkok, William Ellwood Heinecke, Chairman of Minor International Public Company Limited (MINT), has said that he’s in talks for a potential acquisition to expand MINT’s casual dining and quick-service restaurant business, after bolstering its hotel division last year.
Mr. Heinecke asserts that the Bangkok-based company’s food operation lacks the international scale of the hotels division, and a deal could be announced this year.
“The next step for us has got to be in the food category,” he said. “We’re in talks and we are looking globally. Mostly likely it will have a base in either Europe or the U.S.”
MINT’s purchase of Spain’s NH Hotel Group SA last year for $2.6 billion expanded its portfolio to 549 hotels globally. Heinecke has previously said scale is key to staying competitive, and the firm is now the second-largest Asia-listed hotel operator by market capitalization.
In the interview, Heinecke has said that MINT will likely announce “recycling steps” involving the sale and lease back of some of its hotels.
According to MINT’s financial statement, its first-quarter earnings slid 66% from a year earlier due to the low season in Europe. The April-June period is looking “very, very strong,” he emphasized, adding that full-year company performance will either hit a record or be close to it.
Heinecke and his family have a 35% stake in Minor worth about $2.1 billion. The shares have delivered a total return of about 17% so far this year, the best performance in Asia’s lodging sector, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.