Hyatt completes Apple Leisure Group acquisition

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced on Tuesday, November 2, that Hyatt has completed the previously announced acquisition of Apple Leisure Group(R) (ALG), a luxury resort-management services, travel and hospitality group, from affiliates of each of KKR and KSL Capital Partners, LLC.

Hyatt said that it is doubling its global resorts footprint through the addition of ALG’s AMR Collection brand portfolio, which comprises approximately 100 hotels and resorts operating in 10 countries, as well as a pipeline of 24 executed deals in the Americas and Europe. As a result, Hyatt now claims to offer one of the largest collections of luxury all-inclusive resorts in the world, including new destinations for Hyatt such as Acapulco, Curacao, the Canary Islands, Menorca and St. Martin. Through this acquisition, Hyatt has added properties in 11 new European markets and expanded its European brand footprint by 60 percent, strengthening its growth potential in a critical region for global leisure travel demand.

In addition, Hyatt says that it is offering more options and experiences for its high-end guest and customer base and enhancing the end-to-end leisure travel experience through, Unlimited Vacation Club(R) by AMR Collection, an exclusive membership club whose members enjoy preferred rates and other benefits at participating AMR Collection properties; ALG Vacations(R), a packaged vacation provider and leisure travel distribution platform in North America serving the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean; Amstar, a destination services management company; and Trisept Solutions, a leisure travel technology platform.

Hyatt stated that it is determining ways in which the World of Hyatt(R) loyalty programme and ALG’s Unlimited Vacation Club(R) can bring added value and unique loyalty benefits to their respective member bases. Hyatt plans to integrate the AMR Collection into World of Hyatt in 2022 so that members can earn and redeem World of Hyatt points at more than 100 AMR Collection hotels and resorts.

‘Hyatt’s acquisition of ALG represents a brand-defining moment in our more than 60-year history and builds on our legacy as a hospitality leader,’ said Mark Hoplamazian, president and chief executive officer, Hyatt. ‘Hyatt and ALG have highly complementary brand portfolios and share a deep commitment to colleague and guest experiences focused on care. Having first entered the fast-growing luxury all-inclusive space in 2013, we are ideally positioned to capture the significant and rising demand for leisure travel and extend the world-class hospitality we provide to a wide range of new travellers. We are excited to welcome the ALG team to the Hyatt family, and look forward to working together to achieve new levels of growth and value creation for all stakeholders – including our shareholders, owners, customers, guests, members and colleagues.’

ALG’s business will continue to be led by Alejandro Reynal and the current ALG leadership team. ALG will operate as a distinct business unit within Hyatt. Mr. Reynal has joined Hyatt’s executive leadership team and reports to Mr. Hoplamazian.

British Airways tops list of best brands

British Airways (BA), the UK’s leading international carrier and one of the world’s leading global premium airlines, has topped the latest Superbrands survey for the first time.

The first travel company to top the list, BA beat more than 1,500 companies to top the annual ranking of brand strength in the UK. Based at London Heathrow with a fleet of more than 270 aircraft, BA flies to more than 70 different countries. In 2012 the airline carried more than 37 million customers, the airline says on its website.

The airline impressed industry experts and consumers for its ‘consistently strong performance’ and the residual goodwill from its association with the 2012 Olympics, according to Superbrands council chairman Stephen Cheliotis.

Mr Cheliotis said: ‘British Airways has always performed well in the survey but over the last two years its reputation has climbed to new heights, partly through the cementing of its successful ‘To Fly, To Serve’ positioning and the residual goodwill from its effective 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games association.’

Previous leader Rolex moved to second place after two years at the top, while Apple dropped from second place last year to 14th place.

Of the other leading brands, Google dropped downward from sixth to seventh place, while Microsoft slipped from third to sixth. Facebook, which made 14th place last year, completely fell out of the top 20, but Sony moved up from 25th position last year to 17th place.

Amazon.co.uk made it the top 20 for the first time in 13th place.

Meanwhile food brands Heinz and Kellogg’s retained their place in the top 20 at fifth and ninth respectively – joined by Cadbury at 11th, while Coca-Cola moved up from fifth to third.

Running since 1995, The Consumer Superbrands ranking is based on a survey of 3,000 adults who are asked to consider a selection of brands by the Centre for Brand Analysis.