China's HNA Group files lawsuit against Spain's NH Hotels

Spain's NH Hotels has been hit with a lawsuit from its largest shareholder, China's HNA Group, against a motion to drive out HNA-appointed board members. 

The move comes just six months after the two companies formed a JV to a joint office and Chinese brand name, Nuo Han. Within a month, HNA Group subsidiary HNA Tourism Group announced plans to acquire Carlson Hotels and its brands, which include Radisson Blu and Country Inns & Suites. Some shareholders saw the move as a conflict of interest since HNA's Spanish subsidiary Tangla Spain owns 29.5 percent of the NH hotel group, and Carlson competes with NH in European markets such as Germany and Belgium. At the time, HNA said at the time it had been "disenfranchised" by the decision and expected the new board to act in the interest of all shareholders.

By late June, shareholders in Spain's NH Hotel Group voted to oust one of its co-chairman and three other board members appointed by HNA Group. Almost 60 percent of NH's shareholders had backed the motion, which would replace co-chairman Charles Mobus, a U.S.-based banker, with Paul Daniel Johnson, and three Chinese board members with Spaniards.

Virtual Event

HOTEL OPTIMIZATION PART 2 | Now Available On-Demand

Survival in these times is highly dependent on a hotel's ability to quickly adapt and pivot their business to meet the current needs of travelers and the surrounding community. Join us for Optimization Part 2 – a FREE virtual event – as we bring together top players in the industry to discuss alternative uses when occupancy is down, ways to boost F&B revenue, how to help your staff adjust to new challenges and more, in a series of panels focused on how you can regain profitability during this crisis.

And now a lawsuit is looking to prevent the ouster. In a statement to Spain's market regulator, NH said that Tangla Spain had filed the lawsuit with a Madrid court and demanded the four decisions be reversed. The lawsuit also reaffirms the shareholders belief that HNA has a conflict of interest in acquiring Carlson, NH said.


Suggested Articles

New research suggests 64 percent of hospitality professionals believe the risk of a data breach increases when employees work off site.

Three hotels that previously were branded under the Cotelier Hotels brand will be converted to the Life House brand. 

After two weeks of occupancy surpassing the halfway point, the numbers dropped for the week of Oct. 18–24.