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Hyatt To Acquire Apple Leisure Group For $2.7 Billion From KKR, KSL

Hyatt To Acquire Apple Leisure Group For $2.7 Billion From KKR, KSL
The resort company Apple Leisure Group will be acquired by Hyatt Hotels Corp. from the former’s private-equity owners in a deal potentially worth $2.7 billion.
The Apple Leisure Group is owned by KKR & Co. and travel-and-leisure specialist KSL Capital Partners LLC, and the deal was announced pm Sunday evening after a report in The Wall Street Journal about it happening.  
This deal also underscores the optimism of the industry of the complete opening up of the vacation travel segment of tourism industry even as the United States economy continues to struggle with the rising cases of Covid-19 caused by the Delta variant of the coronavirus particularly in the states with low rate of vaccination. Like most other companies in the travel and tourism sector, the pandemic induced lockdowns, social restrictions norms and travel bans had also severely hit Apple Leisure’s business last year. But with the easing of restrictions, there has been a rebound in the sector.
The latest deal is expected to add on to the already considerable resort-management portfolio of Hyatt, which is based in Chicago and is one of the biggest hospitality companies in the world. The deal would also add to the company’s portfolio one of the biggest US providers of charter flights and vacation packages for travelers to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Caribbean.
The deal is also expected to speed up the transformation of Hyatt which the company has been implementing for a long time as it focuses on a more asset-light business model and implement strategies for generating an ongoing stream of steady and predictable fees.
The Secrets, Dreams and Breathless Resorts & Spa chains are managed by Apple Leisure, whose predecessor company was founded in 1969, in addition to offering customers vacation packages under the and Apple Vacations brands, among others.
Airport transfer, tours and excursions and corporate-event planning for a range of destinations including Mexico and the Caribbean are also offered by the company which is based in Newtown Square, Pa.
In 2017, the company was purchased from Bain Capital by KKR and KSL but the value of the deal was not disclosed. There have been a number of acquisitions of Apple Leisure since then as the company merged with Funjet Vacations owner The Mark Travel Corp. and inking a deal to purchase a majority share in Spain’s Alua Hotels & Resorts in 2018.
$429 billion across private equity, credit, real estate, infrastructure and insurance is managed by the New York based KKR. In recent times, the company has struck a number of deals including the acquisition of software company Cloudera Inc. private in a roughly $5.3 billion deal in June alongside private-equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice. A $5.75 billion deal to sell Bountiful Co., the maker of Nature’s Bounty vitamins, to Nestlé SA was signed by KKR in April.
KSL on the other hand exclusively focuses on investing in travel and leisure, including hospitality, recreation, clubs, real estate and travel services.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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