Hyatt Sets IPO Terms

(Reuters) – Hyatt Hotels Corp (H.N) set the size and price range of its planned initial public offering, suggesting the launch of the $931 million deal is imminent despite signs of feuding within the controlling Pritzker family. (peHUB note: Goldman Sachs and Madrone Capital Partners maintain stakes in the company.)

The Chicago-based hotel chain, which operates 413 properties worldwide under the “Hyatt” name, plans to sell 38 million shares for between $23 and $26 apiece and list them on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “H,” according to an updated prospectus filed on Monday with U.S. regulators.

All the shares in the offering are being sold by current shareholders of Hyatt, which was founded by Jay Pritzker in 1957. The Pritzker family still owns 85 percent of the shares.

While the filing did not specify a timing for the IPO’s pricing, new offerings are typically completed within two to three weeks of the setting of the size and price range. One of the underwriters said the exact date was still being determined.

The Pritzker family has been fighting over control of the chain and how to sell off the shares, so much so that the updated prospectus warned that the family battles “may result in significant distractions to our management, disrupt our business, have a negative effect on the trading price.”

The IPO’s underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs (GS.N), will have the option to buy another 5.7 million shares, the proceeds of which would go to Hyatt.

In the first six months of 2009, Hyatt’s revenue fell 18.5 percent to $1.6 billion, and saw a net loss of $36 million. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, Hyatt’s revenues came to $3.8 billion, with net income reaching $168 million.

Hyatt said its revenue per available room, a key measure of fiscal health, fell 24 percent in the first six months of 2009.

Publicly traded hoteliers like Marriott International (MAR.N) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT.N) have also reported declines in revPAR (revenue per available room) as the recession hurts travel demand, particularly for high-end and luxury hotels.

This top tier of hotels, which includes properties run by Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood, has been particularly hurt by the sharp slide of business travel. Marriott, which is the largest U.S. hotel by market capitalization, reported a nearly 17 percent drop in third-quarter revenue earlier this month.

Still investors have snatched up shares of hotel companies in the last eight months, emboldened by signs of an economic recovery. The Dow Jones U.S. Hotels index .DJUSLG has nearly tripled since early March.

This month, Hyatt launched a website to help customers book group meetings, which features the tagline “Great Happens when people get together.”

(Reporting by Phil Wahba and Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Gunna Dickson)