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Apollo Group looking to buy HGVC [Merged]

Discussion in 'Hilton Grand Vacations Club / HGVC' started by toontoy, Aug 20, 2019.

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  1. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    To answer one of my prior questions. Back of the envelope it appears that HGV brand licensing is not a significant income source to HLT - about 1% to the hotel side. What is unknown is whether HLT also receives referral fees for hotel guests who are directed to timeshare presentations but let's assume it is about another 1%. So about 2% overall (license plus hotel lead referral).

    Bottom Line: HGV brand licensing is a small component of HLT income so the impact of a change on the brand reputation will be more important than a loss or gain of license income. Additional Diamond licenses won't move the needle. Brand impact will color how HLT views whether to keep or deny a licensing deal if HGV is acquired.

    Details:
    It appears that HGV paid as much as $98 million in 2018 to license the Hilton Brand name (see fin stmt below).
    Hilton hotel (HLT) annual revenue in 2018 was $8.906B

    Therefore HGV license constitutes only 1.1% of HLT revenue. If Diamond could double that by licensing additional properties it would be pure profit, but would not move the needle for HLT financial results (max 1.1% of incremental HLT revenue).

    Referral revenue would not increase as additional Diamond properties would not drive incremental leads via the hotel system.

    The incremental license revenue Diamond could bring to HLT is small considering the brand reputation risk with Diamond/Apollo, plus hassle factor of dealing with unknown Diamond executives.


    upload_2019-8-30_13-17-54.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  2. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    BTW...Guess who is Chairman of the Board of Hilton Hotels (HTL)? The Pres and Chief Operating Officer of Blackstone....

    This means that Blackstone holds the Hilton Brand card!

    upload_2019-8-30_14-38-57.png
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  3. dayooper

    dayooper TUG Member

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    Anything is possible, but many of the higher demand places already have a higher point total. There are some places, like Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head that have a progressive point system. Ocean view 1 and 2 bedrooms have the standard 4800 and 7000 point totals, but the ocean front rooms are more. To even get a 3 bedroom ant Ocean 22, it’s the plus (9600 points vs 8400 in a normal 3 bedroom). Ocean Enclave is even more stark in its differences. A true ocean from 2 bedroom unit is 18,000 points. Most of the Oahu resorts have much higher totals too. The new Chicago resort has 1 bedrooms at 7200 points. The reported points at Barbados is out of reach for most and the thought process is Maui will similar.

    Maybe it’s their downfall, but HGVC treats their owners very well. It’s the reason I bought here instead of any other system. If you start messing with the system, making it less flexible and start jacking up fees and MF’s, I will take my business elsewhere. If the system loses its flexibility, level of service and value, why should I limit myself to the few resorts HGVC has. I would look for mandatory Vistana or a nice Marriott that gets priory trading in II. The HGVC system is great. The main reason the stock fell was they ran out of high end inventory to sell. That tells me right there that the system can and does make money.
     
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  4. GT75

    GT75 Moderator

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    You are correct that HGVC sold deeded property, but there were also specific points attached to that property. On the resale market, we also got an estoppel which had the allotted points for that week. My point is that I think we all have signed documents which lists the points for our weeks. I don't see how that can be changed on what we own.

    Now, the rules can be changed. I am pretty sure that there is a statement to that effect in the rules.
     
  5. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    I am going to wait until the smoke clears. Now that I am confident that Blackstone and HLT are in HGV's corner, there is going to be some interesting negotiation and gamesmanship. There is a high probability that HGV could end up in same or better position.

    I see five scenarios (not in rank order):

    1) Apollo sells part or all of Diamond to Blackstone/HGV. HGV is the management company as before. (We get some new properties on Maui, Whistler and Palm Desert etc. Diamond owners win too.)

    2) A deal fails to materialize so nothing changes.

    3) Blackstone and/or HLT take a controlling position in HGV to prevent a takeover. (Apollo/Diamond lose out.)

    4) Apollo/Diamond acquire or merge with HGV (Apollo owns HGV)

    5) Wildcard. MVC or an Asian Chain buys out HGV


    #1 ,#2, #3 are good scenarios. No reason to exit.

    If #4 happens we will sell our VOIs and move our business to MVC/Vistana. However, I would be surprised if HLT would risk their brand reputation on players with shaky reputation.*

    # 5 Wildcard: Since HGV has a large Japanese and Asian customer base, could an Asian hotel, developer, or timeshare company be a buyer? e.g.

    *HGV has stated that they are increasingly co-locating new properties in Hilton Hotels. This must have a synergistic effect for HLT franchisees and owned properties. MF on a few floors provides a consistent annuity stream to the hotel property owners plus HGV owners eat at the restaurants and bars at the hotel enabling incremental revenue. The on-site timeshares may also use the same hotel housekeeping resources providing operational efficiencies especially when occupancy is low on the hotel side. Lastly, HGV owners are loyal Hilton Hotel users and promote the brand.

    I doubt that HLT/Blackstone would risk having Apollo/Diamond or other unknown management team co-located with the company jewels. Because of this risk to the brand, I don't believe HLT/Blackstone can afford to sit on the sidelines. Besides, they hold the Hilton brand card which could deny Apollo from gaining any value out of this deal for a successful exit.

    [My apologies for the long post. Thinking aloud. Would love other perspectives.]
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
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  6. escanoe

    escanoe TUG Member

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    If I thought we were waaaay ahead of ourselves yesterday ..... it’s really too much now.

    We have no idea who the original source was for the NY Post story. I think it was almost as likely to have been HGV as Apollo. I get some of the fear here. And there are certainly investors that make stupid decisions. However if anyone buys HGV and manages the properties in a poor manor they will do nothing but lose value. I worry some about them messing up the points system we like but if they alienate people that like that system they will lose their best customers ... those that already own.

    I have NOOOOO idea who will buy it .... but the Hilton brand is likely a lot of HGV’s value. Marriott and Wyndham seem to be very unlikely purchasers to me.
     
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  7. sjsharkie

    sjsharkie TUG Member

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    I don't see #1 or #3 -- that's wishful thinking IMHO. #2/#4/#5 are the only ones with logical possibility based on the news we have.

    1. I don't see #1 happening -- When Apollo acquired DRI three years ago, DRI was looking for a suitor to buy them -- there has been no news that HGV has been looking to expand/acquire. Plus these really are two different classes of timeshares, and I don't see them meshing well together with Diamond's aggressive sales tactics, high maintenance fees, etc. Plus will Apollo have recouped all of its acquisition costs this quickly to entice a profitable sale? Can't see this happening on the near-term horizon.

    2. #2 - yes, this is possible. Rumors are just rumors, though the interest is clearly there.

    3. #3 -- Doubt it again per #1 above. They will only take it over if it is extremely profitable and the price is right. In fact, I think it is more likely that someone at HGV leaked the news to push up the price for negotiation purposes.

    4. #4 -- Yes, clearly possible given the news though the leak has made it more expensive of a takeover.

    5. #5 -- Remember that Apollo also was looking to acquire ILG before MVC got it. Possible that there is a bidding war for HGV.

    Good post though. I am debating whether to follow through on purchasing HGV at this point with so much in the air. I fear a Apollo/DRI acquisition might impose some unfavorable changes for owners. DRI has 1.5x revenue than HGV if you are looking at 2018 FY numbers.

    -ryan
     
  8. nuwermj

    nuwermj TUG Member

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    Why do you think Blackstone is different and better than Apollo? They are both investment firms seeking financial rewards for their customers. They both face the same market/industry opportunities and limitations. If HGV is materially undervalued why does Blackstone have a better plan than Apollo to add value to HGV?
     
  9. Jason245

    Jason245 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I think there are a few possibilities of what will happen and we have about a 50/50 chance that HGVC stays the way it is with different (possibly private) owners.

    I also think there is a 1 in 100 chance that DVC buys HGVC (Dream I have that will probably never materialize).

    Only time will tell.

    But do not for 1 second think that anyone is in the corner of the owners. The only thing blackstone or Hilton care about is $$$ for their shareholders and owners.
     
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  10. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Blackstone is different than Apollo in several ways:

    1. Blackstone and Apollo actually face different market/industry opportunities. As you said, a key reason Apollo sees value in HGV is because they need HGV brand reputation to successfully exit from their Diamond investment. Right now they are stuck. The rumor of a Diamond IPO came out on business channels more than a year ago. If Apollo did not own Diamond, HGV would not be of interest.
    2. Blackstone owned HGV as part of Hilton and spun out HGV and the hotel buildings to remove the buildings off the hotel balance sheet. Blackstone was good to HGV and supported investments to build W57 and took a stake in Elara. HGV is a good system with strong management and happy customers today thanks to Blackstone who had a hand with selecting current HGV management and funding their expansion. Blackstone success with Hilton has been hailed as a success. What has Apollo done to create value beyond juicing up the financial statements?
    3. Under Apollo's watch Diamond management sucked all the upside value out of the company to juice the company for sale. They traded long term value for short term gain. Unhappy customers and an upside down value prop where MF are more expensive than equivalent hotel is not a formula for a good forward looking investment. This happened under Apollo.
    4. Blackstone understands that HGV is part of the HTL ecosystem. Although the Chairman of HTL is the pres of Blackstone and likely owns personal holdings. It does not appear that Blackstone still owns a stake in HTL. However he has rallying power with not only Blackstone but large international franchisee development investors.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  11. Sapper

    Sapper Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I’ll throw my two cents in regarding the HGVC speculation. Mainly because it’s fun to think about.

    The interested party is Blackstone. Why? The two entities have a history of shared projects. The two share management personnel. Last, Blackstone taking HGVC private creates more money for Blackstone and solves a problem for both entities.

    The first two items have been touched on up thread. I’ll focus on the third point. Over simplifying, Blackstone has real estate interests it wants to divest and HGVC needs more units (specifically higher end) to sell. Blackstone could sell the interests to a third party, or they can buy HGVC and vertically integrate to capture a higher net profit. This is the first way they make money from the deal. The second way Blackstone will profit is by taking HGVC public again after it is a significantly larger entity able to better compete with the new MVC. The shared management makes the deal lower risk for Blackstone because HGVC is a known entity. There are no surprises like what the MVC CEO alluded to during the last conference call to investors re the Interval purchase. More profit at lower risk, that’s a private equity groups happy dream.

    So why the “leak” regarding Apollo? It’s spin. HGVC share holders will be less likely to question the deal if they believe there was some healthy competition giving them a better deal. The pop in share price reinforces this belief. Regulators will also be less likely to become involved if the deal does not appear to be some back room deal cooked up by the Blackstone/HGVC management. Why would Blackstone want to pay more per share if they could pay less? Because a few dollars a share is a small price to pay to get investors and regulators on board with the deal to make it go quickly and smoothly.

    What does this mean for us, the HGVC timeshare users? Since the HGVC management will be the same folks, no change in service quality. Because of the properties Blackstone wants to divest, and HGVC needs, new locations and more inventory. Because of the specific type of inventory HGVC needs to sell, these properties will be higher end with higher points requirements. Probably more international locations, specifically in Asia.

    I think this could be a win win. Strangely optimistic coming from me. Haha.
     
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  12. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Interesting perspective @Sapper on Blackstone. Your statements support the fact that HGV has been increasingly converting Hilton hotel floors and wings at Hilton resorts to HGV (District, Mid-Town, Cabo, HHV, Ocean Tower, Chicago). This implies that Blackstone and their development franchisees of hotels benefit from a symbiotic relationship with HGV to get more ROI and consistent revenue annuity stream (aka MF vs. occupancy rates which fluctuate) out of HTL real estate holdings.

    Speculation is fun, but trying to understand future scenarios helps me to understand when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. Right now I will hold 'em because HGV stands a good chance of doing the same or better out of this because of their longstanding and symbiotic relationships with HTL and Blackstone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
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  13. nuwermj

    nuwermj TUG Member

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    1. Yes, I emphases these points as part of a dialog in this thread which I thought was being ignored. But they are not 100% of the story. HGV is also materially undervalued.

    2. Apollo funded the acquisition of a hotel to be converted into a timeshare in Hawaii;
    They also acquired Capital Vacations, a privately held timeshare and resort management company
    Also take a look at how Great Wolf Lodge was treated under Apollo's management.

    3. Two of Apollo's main goals for Diamond are to (1) the change Diamond's inventory acquisition model and (2) widen its market for first time buyers. Whether or not one agrees with these goal, I think they are more than short-short term juicings.

    4. I think Apollo managers understand this too. They managed Harrahs for many years.
     
  14. Finsadbel

    Finsadbel TUG Member

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    I also think there is a 1 in 100 chance that DVC buys HGVC (Dream I have that will probably never materialize).

    We share this dream....... however, VERY unlikely.
     
  15. CalGalTraveler

    CalGalTraveler TUG Member

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    Actually much of these observations are from your post and other Diamond owner posts. Not ignored. Much appreciated. :)

    I knew nothing and did not have an opinion about Apollo or Diamond before this thread.

    I am not convinced that HGV alone is undervalued because Blackstone, MVC etc. would have jumped on it long ago. I believe the value to Diamond is high because as you stated, they need the goodwill of the brand license and the hotel lead flow that HGV offers to maximize the investment return for the portfolio they acquired. They are odd man out in a TS industry with few hotel choices remaining.

    On top of that it sounds like Diamond could benefit from HGV infrastructure and processes as a reasonably well run system with a customer service focus. Although IT is not perfect, there have been many improvements over the past 2 years and we don't encounter the kind of silo issues that were expressed earlier by Diamond posters.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  16. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I am not sure why people keep saying Marriott is announcing their integration plans or a combined program in October. In October they will be holding an investor day/event. They may or may not mention anything specific about the plans for an integrated product. I suspect there will be little details about how a combined program will work or function as it pertains to owners.
     
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  17. nuwermj

    nuwermj TUG Member

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    When I first raised the points on page three of this thread, it seemed to me they had been ignored (maybe I should have used the word "overlooked") on pages 1 and 2. Sorry for causing confusion with my wording in post #263.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  18. dayooper

    dayooper TUG Member

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    No, I don’t think they were ignored, but I do think they put on the back burner while new ideas were brought up. I think there is so little information that speculation and theories are running rampant than people are discussing anything new people bring up. It also doesn’t help that most of us here in HGVC are very leery of DRI and their practices. While I think that Apollo/DRI absolutely is a player, Blackstone has just as good or a greater chance to purchase.
     
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  19. JohnPaul

    JohnPaul TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    FWIW we just had an NYC presentation. Our guy really poo poo-ed The Quin stating that MF would be very high because it is an old building. However, my guess is he downplayed it just because they can't sell it yet.

    They also continuously bad mouth The Residences - perhaps since we briefly owned there and returned to W 57th St so unlikely to buy there.

    The big push was for The Central on Fifth. (Really between Madison and Fifth) They would give us $50,000 equity for our resale week toward a purchase at The Central. 9300 points vs 5250 for only about $400 more MF (and of course about $25,000 buy in with our great trade).

    BTW daily maid service and no short stay charges at The Central.

    We did walk by The Central. It is narrower than W 57th St and the neighborhood isn't yet as upscale as W 57th St but it will still be a good location.
     
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  20. nuwermj

    nuwermj TUG Member

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    I think I understand. But my question is why some in this thread think Blackstone is a better owner of HGV than Apollo would be.

    And second I don't believe I said "the only reason Apollo sees value in HGV is because they need HGV brand reputation to successfully exit from their Diamond investment." My view is: "one reason Apollo sees value in HGV is ..."
     
  21. dayooper

    dayooper TUG Member

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    At least for me, it’s the devil I know. Blackstone has been intertwined with both Hilton and HGVC for quite awhile, the assumption is that things will continue as they were. Blackstone has a presence on HGVC’s BoD for some time and, with Blackstone owning several HGVC resorts, it seems like they have a vested interest to grow HGVC with great customer/owner experience.

    With Apollo, the big fear is they will merge HGVC with DRI and run it like DRI has been (maybe not Apollo’s fault). The vested interest with Apollo is with DRI, not HGVC, so I’m afraid us HGVC owners will have our ownership devalued to the point they aren’t worth using. Maybe a bit over the cliff, but DRI’s reputation doesn’t help one bit.

    I appreciate the positive but grounded perspective you brought here and hope you keep contributing to this forum while this is all sorted out. I have my preference (nothing changes) but know anything is possible. You seem to think/speculate that Apollo wants their investment run more like HGVC and, if something with Apollo happens, hopefully you are correct.
     
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  22. Sapper

    Sapper Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Well stated.

    Something else I just thought of. The Hilton name. Hilton hotels will have no problem continuing the license agreement with Blackstone. Hilton may not continue the license agreement with anyone else whether due to a competing hotel brand (MVC) or a quality / image problem (Diamond).

    Re the speculation of a Disney purchase. Though it’s nice to dream about it, HGVC does not fit Disney’s business model of utilizing timeshares to drive people to their parks (with the exception of the Aulani).
     
  23. Jason245

    Jason245 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Other than Disney buying..as an owner I am better off with them staying independent from any other timeshare org unless Hgvc survives the takeover as the main company.

    Most anything else will more likely than not hurt me.. just ask club intrawest owners.


    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
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  24. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I would have to agree. A buyout by a private equity investor doesn't usually go well. Their main goal is to extract value. Whether it be to increase the value of the company or sell off certain assets. With the plunge in the stock price after their earnings call, I think they saw that HGVC was undervalued, so perhaps thinking they could pick it up for a bargain, increase its value and then spin it back off for a profit. If they are trying to use it try to increase the value and image of Diamond, I think it may backfire and pull HGVC down instead.
     
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  25. GT75

    GT75 Moderator

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    Please explain. I am not familiar with feedback from intrawest owners after they were bought by DRI.
     
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