If there’s a graduate student at the Harvard Business School looking for a company to analyze, here’s a suggestion: Check out Minor Hotels. Never heard of it? Not surprising. For starters, its headquarters in, of all places, Bangkok. And, in terms of corporate organization, it pretty much disregards most text book mandates.
Instead of linking company components with neat lines, the table of organization looks more like a spider web. Quips one company source, “As Minor Hotels is a fast-growing company, its structure is changing by the minute.” And when most hotel chains focus their expansion around their core business, Minor isn’t afraid to diversify into relatively unrelated businesses.
As a result, without being a familiar name to many Americans even in the hospitality industry, Minor is doing quite well, thank you. At last count, it owned, leased or managed 525 hotels in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Europe, South America and it’s finally coming to North America. Early next year, it will open the inexplicably-named NH Collection NH New York Madison Avenue. The 16-story property located at 38thst. and Madison Avenue will have 288 rooms and suites.
Loosely connected under the Minor corporate name are what it modestly calls a “diverse portfolio of properties”. More specifically these are really a head-spinning line-up of separate brands. These are the Anantara, AVANI, Oaks, Tivoli, M Collection, NH Collection, NH Hotels, nhow, the Elewana Collection and Minor International properties. And while the company often uses the term “cluster” which logically suggests that properties within a given brand are focused geographically that’s really not the case. Minor brands have a disconcerting habit of jumping oceans, continents and national boundaries to acquire or manage attractive new properties.
As a result, within Minor’s line-up, tour operators, meeting planners and agents with clients seeking accommodations for either leisure or business in some remote locales can be easily accommodated. Check out this rundown on the brands and their properties:
Anantara Hotels Resorts is Minor’s core luxury brand. It includes 38 hotels and resorts ranging across the Middle East, Asia, the Indian Ocean, Africa and Europe. Its most recent opening was the Anantara Quy Nihon Villas in south central Vietnam. This year the company took over operations of the Villa Padierna Palace in Spain’s Costa del Sol’s Golf Valley. Coming on line are the Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas, the Anantara Marau Bahia Resort in Brazil, the Anantara Desaru Resort Villas in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and the Anantara Tozeur Resort in the oasis Tunisian city of Tozeur. In late 2021, the Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort and the Anantara Sharjah Resort are to open in the UAE while in Morocco the Anantara Al Houara Tangier Resort in Morocco is also under development.
In Anantara’s home territory of Asia are the Anantara Phi Phi Lana Resort, the Anantara Ubud Bali Resort and the Anantara Jinsha Chengdu Hotel are to open in 2020 and 2021 respectively. It also manages threeFour Seasons, a St. Regis and a JW Marriott in Thailand.
Avani Hotels & Resorts operates 24 properties in 15 countries in Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and Europe. Its most recent opening was the Avani+ Samui on the southeast coast of Koh Samui, Thailand.
Acquisition in 2016 of the Tivoli Hotels & Resorts added new properties to the Minor portfolio that immediately launched a new build in Doha, Qatar. Among existing properties in Portugal that were all upgraded and quickly added to the portfolio was theTivoli Evora Eco resort. About the same time, Minor opened the Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels in Doha, capital of Qatar, and last year added two more in Qatar, the Souq Al Wakra Hotel and the Al Najada Doha Hotel.
Also opened last year, the Algarve Congress Centre is an example of Minor not being afraid to diversify a bit. The company touts the Centre as “oneof the largest and most modern facilities for meetings, conferences and events in Portugal and Europe.” It has 22 meeting spaces spread over an area of 75,900 square feet with a capacity to handle 3,000 people.
Yet another Minor brand is the Oaks Hotels & Resorts, a leading provider of serviced apartments in Australia, New Zealand and now the Middle East. It currently operates 57 properties one of which is the new-build Al Najada Doha Serviced Apartments by Oaksin Doha, the brand’s first property in Qatar, that opened last year. In the Indian state of Bihar is the Oaks Bodhyaya and opening this month is the 110-key Oaks Beirut in Sodeco, a commercial area of the Lebanese capital,
The Elewana Collection features high-end tented properties such as the Elewana Sand River Masai Mara, the Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp, the Elewana Loisaba Star beds and the Elewana Lodo Springs all in Kenya, with more in Tanzania.
While all other Minor brands have their footprints in multiple continents, the nhow brand is currently focused entirely in western Europe but it’s on a high-speed expansion program. Currently there are nhow properties in Milan, Berlin, Rotterdam and Marseille. But joining them this year will be new openings in London and Amsterdam followed in 2020 with openings in Santiago de Chile, Brussels and Rome. In 2021 there will be new nhows in Frankfurt and Lima. .
Late this past year, Minor established its M Collection brand of up-scale properties in China. Scheduled to open in, 2020 will be the 100-key M Collection Hengqin Zhuhai in the heart of the Pearl River Delta. The second resort to open in 2022 will be a 54-key all villa resort in Hangzhou Yuhang in Zhejiang Province.
If all this activity wasn’t enough, by way of a tender offer in April last year Minor Hotels International (MINT) acquired 47.8% of outstanding shares of NH Hotel Group. Together with shares already held in NH by Minor, it secured a 94.1% stake in NH Hotel Group representing a total investment of EUR 2.3 billion or $2.6 billion. The company said that “acquisition of NH Hotel Group is transformative for MINT”, giving it a combined platform of 525 hotels across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the U.S.
To run these components Minor hasregional offices in Brisbane,Australia, Bangkok (separate from the corporate headquarters), Dubai, UAE, andJohannesburg,South Africa. With the acquisition of NH last year, Minor maintained the head office for that brand in Madrid. NH Madrid will now also act as the regional office for its brands which include Tivoli, Avani and Anantara and other brands.
Last year Minor also took a 10% share worth $3.2 million of the Global Hotel Alliance. GHA has a loyalty program called Discovery with 13 million members that GHA says produced $1.7 billion in room revenues last year.
If running a hotel empire isn’t enough the company also become one of Asia’s largest restaurant operators, with more than 2,300 outlets in 27 countries, many under the moniker, Minor Food that are disrtibuted under such names as Swensen’s, Sizzler, Dairy Queen, Burger King and Benihana, among others.
Looking back to 1978, when Minor Hotels was founded in Pattaya, Thailand, with just one hotel by William E. Heinecke, a local businessman, the company certainly hasn’t done too badly for a “start-up”.
By Norman Sklarewitz © Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved