ARLINGTON, Va.—Park Hotels & Resorts and Chesapeake Lodging Trust today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Park will acquire all the outstanding shares of Chesapeake in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $2.7 billion, including transaction costs.
The combined company will have an estimated enterprise value of $12 billion, solidifying Park’s position as the second largest lodging REIT while also advancing the company’s strategic goals of portfolio enhancement and diversification. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors and board of trustees of Park and Chesapeake, respectively.
Upon closing, Park stockholders and Chesapeake shareholders will own approximately 84 percent and 16 percent of the combined company, respectively. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of the approval of Chesapeake shareholders. The companies currently expect the transaction to close in late third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2019.
“We are thrilled to strategically combine our two companies in a compelling transaction that is accretive for stockholders,” said Thomas J. Baltimore, Jr., chairman and CEO of Park. “Chesapeake’s high-quality portfolio of hotels will accelerate our strategic goals of upgrading the quality of our portfolio and achieving brand, operator, and geographic diversity. This merger provides Park and its stockholders with identifiable synergies and opportunities to drive incremental growth through Park’s proven asset management capabilities. In short, we are expecting to have the same record of success and growth from the Chesapeake assets that we have enjoyed from the Hilton assets we took over in January 2017—and we will be laser-focused every day to create long-term value.”
“This merger will be a transformative event for the shareholders of both companies,” said Thomas Natelli, chairman of the Chesapeake Board of Trustees. “We believe the combined company will create a superior platform for delivering exceptional returns to Chesapeake’s existing shareholders by improving diversification, increasing scale, lowering cost of capital, and benefitting from combined synergies. Chesapeake’s management team, under the leadership of CEO Jim Francis, has built a fantastic portfolio of hotels in major markets and has consistently delivered excellent results. We are confident that Park’s leadership team will continue this trajectory with the addition of our portfolio of leading hotels, which will translate into increased value for all stakeholders.”
Leadership and Organization
Each of the Board of Directors of Park and Board of Trustees of Chesapeake has approved the merger. Park’s Board of Directors will be increased to ten members upon closing, with two additions from Chesapeake’s Board of Trustees. Thomas J. Baltimore, Jr., Park’s chairman and CEO, will continue to serve as chairman of Park’s Board of Directors, and he will also continue to lead the combined company, along with Park’s existing senior management team.
Non-Core Asset Sales
Park plans to sell five non-core hotels prior to the proposed closing, including both of Chesapeake’s New York City hotels—the 122-room Hyatt Herald Square New York and the 185-room Hyatt Place New York Midtown South—in addition to three non-core Park hotels, which are currently under contract. On a pro forma basis that accounts for these sales, the combined company would consist of 66 hotels in key urban and resort markets in 17 states and the District of Columbia.
The combined company expects to implement Park’s asset management initiatives to create incremental value across Chesapeake’s existing portfolio through already-identified opportunities. Those initiatives include remixing the demand mix by increasing Chesapeake’s group segmentation and replacing lower-rated contract business, enhancing food and beverage profitability, driving ancillary income, and sourcing additional cost savings. Overall, Park has identified approximately $24 million of potential EBITDA upside in 2020 and approximately $34 million of potential EBITDA upside in 2021 across Chesapeake’s portfolio, including approximately $17 million of annual G&A savings. Over time, the company expects additional value creation will be driven by select ROI projects, potentially including the repurposing of underutilized space as meeting space expansions, adding additional keys, energy efficiency projects, and brand repositionings at select properties.
The combined company also expects to benefit from enhanced scale in markets in which both companies currently have a presence, such as San Francisco, and from diversification of brand, operators, and geography, which translates into the identification and implementation of best practices across the portfolio.