Article repost from Travel Weekly
Playa Hotels & Resorts, owner and operator of all-inclusive resorts (including Hyatt’s Ziva and Zilara brands), is launching a new brand and going public next year.
Playa reached an agreement to operate resorts under an established lifestyle consumer brand. Playa plans to reveal the brand’s identity in early January.
The company will sell its shares to the public after merging with Pace Holding Corp., a division of private-equity company TPG. The move will enable Playa to receive an equity infusion of $500 million, Playa CEO Bruce Wardinski said in an interview with Travel Weekly.
About $200 million will be used to launch the new brand, while the remainder will go toward renovations of existing resorts as well as further expansion, including the build-out of a 750-room Hyatt Ziva-Hyatt Zilara complex in Cap Cana, which is part of the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana resort area.
Once the company goes public — the offering is expected to be completed by next March — Playa will be the only publicly traded all-inclusive resorts company, said Wardinski. The company is keeping the Playa name.
He estimated that the company will more than double its resort count within five years and may add management-only contracts, as well. Playa currently owns and operates 13 resorts totaling nearly 6,200 rooms in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico.
“There are amazing opportunities in the all-inclusive segment,” said Wardinski, who will continue to oversee the company with his leadership team.
Founded in 2006, Playa had owned and operated resorts under the Barcelo brand and AMResorts’ Secrets and Dreams brands until 2013, when it reached an agreement with Hyatt to rebrand six resorts under the new Ziva and Zilara brands.
As part of the agreement, Hyatt invested $325 million in Playa, including $100 million for an approximate 20% ownership stake in the company and $225 million for convertible preferred stock.
As part of the Playa-Pace Holding merger, Hyatt will sell its preferred stock and keep its common stock, which will be worth about 11% of the combined company.
Playa filed documents for a prospective initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission in late September, and estimated at the time that it would raise as much as $300 million.
TPG has “a lot of experience that’s going to benefit Playa moving forward,” said Wardinski, noting that the company’s travel investments include Norwegian Cruise Line, Caesars Entertainment, Sabre, Hotwire and Airbnb. “This deal is highly preferred over the [previous] IPO path.”
According to the SEC filing, Playa’s net income jumped 91%, to $46.4 million, for the six months ended June 30. Revenue rose 34%, to $287.3 million.
While occupancy fell 2.5 points to 80.4%, the average daily rate rose 12%, to $271.