The Wyndham Owners Association (WOA), a group representing more than 6,000 hotel owners who operate under the Wyndham brand, has voiced its opposition to a potential merger between Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Choice Hotels International. The WOA said in a statement that it was “deeply concerned” about the impact of such a deal on its members, who have invested billions of dollars in their properties and rely on the Wyndham name and loyalty program for their success.
The WOA said it was not consulted by Wyndham before the company confirmed that it was in preliminary discussions with Choice Hotels about a possible combination. The WOA also said it had not received any information from Wyndham about the rationale, terms, or benefits of the proposed merger, which would create one of the largest hotel chains in the world with more than 20,000 properties.
The WOA urged Wyndham to engage with its owners and address their questions and concerns before proceeding with any deal. The WOA also warned that it would “vigorously oppose” any merger that would harm its members’ interests or diminish the value of their investments.
Choice Hotels faces similar resistance from its franchisees
Choice Hotels, which owns brands such as Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, and Econo Lodge, is also facing resistance from some of its franchisees over the possible merger with Wyndham. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, some Choice hotel owners are worried that the deal would dilute their brand identity and reduce their bargaining power with the parent company.
Choice Hotels has more than 7,000 franchisees, who pay fees and royalties to the company in exchange for using its brands and reservation system. Some of these franchisees have formed an independent association, called the Choice Hotels Owners Council (CHOC), to represent their interests and advocate for their rights.
The CHOC said it was “extremely concerned” about the potential merger with Wyndham and demanded more transparency and communication from Choice Hotels. The CHOC also said it would seek legal advice and explore its options to protect its members’ interests if the deal goes ahead.
Wyndham and Choice Hotels aim to create synergies and scale
Wyndham and Choice Hotels are both leaders in the midscale and economy segments of the hotel industry, catering to budget-conscious travelers and offering mostly franchised properties. The two companies have been exploring a possible merger for several months, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The deal would create a hotel giant with a combined market value of about $14 billion and annual revenue of about $4 billion. The merger would also generate significant cost savings and operational efficiencies, as well as increase the companies’ geographic reach and customer base.
Wyndham and Choice Hotels have said that they are in early stages of discussions and that there is no certainty that a deal will be reached. The companies have also said that they are committed to creating value for their shareholders, franchisees, and customers.