Philippines’ DoubleDragon subsidiary Hotel101 Global to list in US

Reuters | April 8, 2024

SINGAPORE/MANILA, April 8 (Reuters) – Philippine real estate firm DoubleDragon (DD.PS),on Monday said subsidiary Hotel101 Global will list on the Nasdaq in the United States via a merger with special purpose acquisition company JVSPAC Acquisition Corp (JVSA.O).

Hotel101 Global will become the first Philippine company to list in the U.S. following the deal with the SPAC – a publicly listed shell that raises funds to merge with a private entity.

The merger is likely to result in Hotel101 having an equity value of over $2.3 billion, DoubleDragon, Hotel101 and JVSPAC said in a joint statement. It will close in the second half of the year with Hotel101 listing under ticker “HBNB”.

“We believe that a NASDAQ listing will provide Hotel101 with access to public capital markets and help accelerate our global expansion plans,” Hotel101 CEO Hannah Yulo-Luccini said in the statement.

Hotel101 is the hotel arm of Philippines-listed DoubleDragon, formed by tycoon Edgar “Injap” Sia II with Jollibee Foods (JFC.PS), owner Tony Tan Caktiong.

Shares of DoubleDragon climbed as much as 13.9% on Monday to hit their highest level since end-February, LSEG data showed.

Hotel101 builds and operates hotels with standardized, 21 square metre rooms that it sells individually to investors.

Hotel101’s asset-light business model generates revenue first from room sales and then from the recurring income from day-to-day hotel operations, Yulo-Luccini said.

It is headquartered in Singapore and operates two hotels in the Philippines, with three under development in Japan, Spain and the U.S.

The firm aims to expand to 25 countries including China and Saudi Arabia by 2026, and derive 95% of revenue from overseas.

“It is a big lift forward to where we want the company to go with our big plans and dreams for Hotel 101 to be hopefully at one point eventually to be in 100 countries globally. This milestone today is a big jump forward,” Sia, who is DoubleDragon’s chairman and CEO, told Reuters on Monday.

Hotel101’s long term vision is to have one million rooms, up from the 2,286 rooms it now has and is developing, and operate in over 100 countries worldwide, he said, adding that DoubleDragon will continue to be a major shareholder in Hotel 101 after the listing.

A little less than 5% of Hotel101 will be floated, and the company will seek to bring in institutional or private investors through further public offerings, Yulo-Luccini said.

JVSPAC is led by Albert Wong, CEO of luxury products distributor Kingsway Group – the sole distributor of Lamborghini cars in Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou, the statement showed.

The SPAC, which targets lifestyle and tech businesses, in January announced it raised $57.5 million.

The merger will see Hotel101 join a growing number of Southeast Asian firms to list in the U.S., filling a void left by Chinese companies that have paused such listings amid Sino-U.S. tension.

Vietnamese EV maker VinFast listed in the U.S. in August via a merger with SPAC Black Spade Acquisition. It now commands a market value of some $10 billion, LSEG data showed.

In February, the parent of Malaysian budget airline AirAsia, Capital A (CAPI.KL), finalised a deal to list its brand management unit on the Nasdaq with SPAC Aetherium Acquisition (GMFI.O). That deal gave the unit, Capital A International, an enterprise value of $1.15 billion.

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