Hyatt Still Eyeing European Growth After Retreat From NH Hotel

(Bloomberg) -- Hyatt Hotels Corp.’s pursuit of the Spanish hotel operator NH Hotel Group SA was short-lived, but Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian said that Europe remains a “key area” for future expansion.

“We are focused on acquisitions and investments that first and foremost help expand our presence and distribution in places where we are underrepresented,” Hoplamazian said on an earnings call Wednesday. “Europe has been and remains a key area of focus for us.”

Hyatt surfaced briefly as a potential bidder for NH Hotel, which has a market value of about 2.5 billion euros ($2.9 billion). Hyatt last week expressed interest in acquiring the Spanish company and selling off its owned real estate. Hoplamazian backed off earlier this week after Bangkok-based Minor International Pcl disclosed that it controlled 44 percent of shares in NH Hotel, with plans to purchase the rest of the company.

Future acquisitions would likely be asset-light, Hoplamazian said, reiterating Hyatt’s preference for managing hotels over owning them.

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