Hamilton hotels selloff on cards

17:00, Aug 19 2012

Waikato-Tainui is believed to be preparing to sell a large slice of its Hamilton hotel interests.

It is understood the tribe's commercial arm will retain a minority stake in Hamilton Riverview Hotels Ltd, owner of the Novotel Tainui Hamilton and the Ibis Hamilton Tainui, after first buying out the current minor shareholder, international hotel management company Accor.

Tainui Group Holdings and Hamilton City Council are this week expected to confirm plans to then jointly offer a majority stake in the hotels, the result of extended informal talks between the three shareholders.

Hamilton ratepayers and TGH between them own almost 83 per cent of the hotels.

The city has signalled its wish to sell out of the hotels for some time but Waikato corporate juggernaut TGH's decision was not expected.

Earlier this year the council's 41 per cent shareholding was independently valued at $14m.

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The organisations are thought to believe that offering a majority stake in their well-performed hotels business will help draw a premium price.

TGH chief executive Mike Pohio declined to comment.

The tribe's hotel interests also include 70 per cent of the $65m Novotel Auckland Airport.

The council was briefed behind closed doors on the progress of confidential shareholder talks over the future of the city's stake in the Ibis and Novotel hotels late last week.

Taranaki Daily News