• Host reports mixed Q2

Host Hotels has, along with its former sibling Marriott International, suffered the least from takeover speculation.

And, like Marriott it has reported mixed second quarter figures which were at the bottom end of guidance.

The Host numbers, which showed revpar up 6.7% – the guidance range had been 6.5% to 8.5% – come as no surprise given that around half of its 121 hotels are run by Marriott.

As an owner of 24 Starwood operated hotels, the lower revpar numbers also signal that Starwood’s own figures may not be too bullish.

The second quarter revpar figures from Smith Travel Research showed an increase of 5.7%. Both Marriott and Host were well ahead of this but it is usual for the bigger chains to outperform the market as a whole.

Full-year revpar guidance from Host was trimmed by a percentage point at the top of the range so that it is now 6.5% to 7.5% rather than the previous 6.5% to 8.5%.

This declining rate of growth in trading makes, when coupled with an increasingly difficult financing market, a much more difficult environment for private equity.

A report by credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s on Friday said the secondary loan market in the US had suffered the biggest drop in pricing since the days following the terrorist attacks on September 11.

This is causing some indigestion for private equity firms as they try to put away loans for recent deals on both sides of the Atlantic. For example, the £9bn of financing to fund the acquisition of pharmacy chain Alliance Boots by KKR had its pricing postponed last week.

In the US alone, some $200bn of loans still need to be financed. Only the bravest private equity firms will be promoting fresh deals given current market conditions.

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