Orient-Express Hotels Names New CEO; Rejects Indian Hotels Proposal
HAMILTON, Bermuda—Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. announced that John M. Scott III has been appointed president and chief executive officer and a director. Scott, 47, is an experienced operator of luxury hotels who most recently served as president and CEO of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, where he oversaw a portfolio of 17 ultra-luxury hotels located in seven countries with combined revenues of more than $500 million. READER COMMENTS
"John Scott is a talented and highly regarded leader in the global hotel industry and we are excited to welcome him to Orient-Express," said J. Robert Lovejoy, chairman of the board, in an announcement. "During his time at Rosewood, John was responsible for doubling the number of hotels under management, significantly increasing EBITDA and securing an active development pipeline of new hotel projects. With a deep understanding of the ultra-luxury lodging sector and proven industry experience in strategy, operations, finance, and brand building, John has the right skills and qualifications to drive growth and deliver on the tremendous potential of Orient-Express' portfolio of iconic and irreplaceable properties."
Prior to joining Rosewood Hotels, Mr. Scott served for seven years as managing director of acquisitions and asset management at Maritz, Wolff & Co., where he was responsible for acquisitions and asset management for the private equity real estate investment group. Previously, Mr. Scott held management positions in business planning and development at The Walt Disney Company and senior hotel management positions at the Interpacific Group Hong Kong, a private hotel investment and management company operating in the Asia-Pacific region.
Orient-Express also announced that its Board, after consultation with independent financial and legal advisors, has unanimously determined that the unsolicited proposal from The Indian Hotels Company Limited and certain affiliates and third parties to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Orient-Express for $12.63 per share in cash (the "Indian Hotels Proposal") significantly undervalues Orient-Express and its unique assets and is not in the best interests of Orient-Express and its shareholders.
The Company informed Indian Hotels of its decision in a letter, which included the following statement: "The Board is deeply committed to creating value for our shareholders and will take whatever actions it believes will best accomplish that objective. We carefully evaluated the Indian Hotels Proposal in that spirit but unanimously concluded it is deeply unattractive from a financial perspective. Importantly, the Board believes the current macroeconomic environment, conditions in the luxury hotel business and factors unique to Orient-Express would make this a highly disadvantageous time to sell the Company to realize its true value. Orient-Express has exciting prospects and an unrivaled collection of one-of-a-kind luxury properties that it is taking concerted actions to optimize. With the appointment of a world-class CEO, whom the Board is confident will drive superior long-term value, we believe Orient-Express has a bright future as an independent company serving the interests of shareholders as well as guests."
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