SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission File No. 001-34521
HYATT HOTELS CORPORATION
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (312) 750-1234
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
71 South Wacker Drive,
12th Floor, Chicago, Illinois
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class
Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Class A Common Stock, $0.01 par value
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer" and "smaller reporting company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act
Large accelerated filer þ
Accelerated filer ¨
Non-accelerated filer ¨
Smaller reporting company ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ¨ No þ
As of June 30, 2015, the aggregate market value of the registrant's Class A common stock, $0.01 par value, held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $1,863.0 million (based upon the closing sale price of the Class A common stock on June 30, 2015 on The New York Stock Exchange). The market value of the registrant's Class B common stock is not included in the above value as there is no active market for such stock.
As of January 31, 2016, there were 26,023,355 shares of the registrant's Class A common stock, $0.01 par value, outstanding and 109,628,962 shares of the registrant's Class B common stock, $0.01 par value, outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K incorporates by reference portions of the registrant's Proxy Statement for its 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on May 11, 2016.
HYATT HOTELS CORPORATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2015
Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This annual report contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include statements about the Company's plans, strategies, financial performance, prospects or future events and involve known and unknown risks that are difficult to predict. As a result, our actual results, performance or achievements may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "may," "could," "expect," "intend," "plan," "seek," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "continue," "likely," "will," "would" and variations of these terms and similar expressions, or the negative of these terms or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by us and our management, are inherently uncertain. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to:
the factors discussed in this annual report set forth under the sections titled "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A, and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in Part II, Item 7;
general economic uncertainty in key global markets and a worsening of global economic conditions or low levels of economic growth;
the rate and the pace of economic recovery following economic downturns;
levels of spending in business and leisure segments as well as consumer confidence;
declines in occupancy and average daily rate;
limited visibility with respect to future bookings;
hostilities, or fear of hostilities, including future terrorist attacks, that affect travel;
natural or man-made disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, hurricanes, floods, oil spills, nuclear incidents and global outbreaks of pandemics or contagious diseases or fear of such outbreaks;
our ability to successfully achieve certain levels of operating profits at hotels that have performance guarantees in favor of our third-party owners;
the impact of hotel renovations;
our ability to successfully execute our common stock repurchase program;
the seasonal and cyclical nature of the real estate and hospitality businesses;
changes in distribution arrangements, such as through Internet travel intermediaries;
changes in the tastes and preferences of our customers;
relationships with colleagues and labor unions and changes in labor laws;
the financial condition of, and our relationships with, third-party property owners, franchisees and hospitality venture partners;
the possible inability of third-party owners, franchisees or development partners to access capital necessary to fund current operations or implement our plans for growth;
risks associated with potential acquisitions and dispositions and the introduction of new brand concepts;
the timing of acquisitions and dispositions;
failure to successfully complete proposed transactions (including the failure to satisfy closing conditions or obtain required approvals);
unforeseen terminations of our management or franchise agreements;
changes in federal, state, local or foreign tax law;
increases in interest rates and operating costs;
foreign exchange rate fluctuations or currency restructurings;
lack of acceptance of new brands or innovation;
general volatility of the capital markets and our ability to access such markets;
changes in the competitive environment in our industry, including as a result of industry consolidation, and the markets where we operate;
cyber incidents and information technology failures;
outcomes of legal or administrative proceedings; and
violations of regulations or laws related to our franchising business.
These factors are not necessarily all of the important factors that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by any of our forward-looking statements. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows. All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements set forth above. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we do not undertake or assume any obligation to update publicly any of these forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, new information or future events, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking statements, except to the extent required by applicable law. If we update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that we will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.
Terms Used in this Annual Report
Unless otherwise specified or the context otherwise requires, references in this annual report to "we," "our," "us," "Hyatt," "HHC," and the "Company" refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries.
As used in this annual report, the term "Pritzker family business interests" means (1) various lineal descendants of Nicholas J. Pritzker (deceased) and spouses and adopted children of such descendants; (2) various trusts for the benefit of the individuals described in clause (1) and trustees thereof; and (3) various entities owned and/or controlled, directly and/or indirectly, by the individuals and trusts described in (1) and (2).
As used in this annual report, the term "properties" refers to hotels and residential and vacation ownership units that we develop, own, operate, manage, franchise, or to which we provide services or license our trademarks. "Hyatt portfolio of properties" or "portfolio of properties" refers to hotels and other properties that we develop, own, operate, manage, franchise, license, or provide services to, including under our Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Andaz, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara brands. Residential ownership units refers to residential units that we manage, own, or to which we provide services or license our trademarks (such as serviced apartments and Hyatt-branded residential units) that are typically part of a mixed-use project and located adjacent to a full service hotel that is a member of the Hyatt portfolio of properties. Vacation ownership units refer to the fractional and timeshare vacation ownership properties with respect to which we license our trademarks and that are part of the Hyatt Residence Club. "Hospitality ventures" refers to entities in which we own less than a 100% equity interest.
As used in this annual report, the term "colleagues" refers to the more than 100,000 individuals working at our corporate and regional offices and our managed, franchised and owned properties. We directly employ approximately 45,000 of these 100,000 colleagues. The remaining colleagues are employed by third-party owners and franchisees of our hotels.
Hyatt®, Park Hyatt®, Grand Hyatt®, Andaz®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Centric™, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, Hyatt Ziva™, Hyatt Zilara™, Hyatt Residence Club®, Hyatt Residences®, Hyatt Gold Passport®, Hyatt Resorts™ and related trademarks, logos, trade names and service marks appearing in this annual report are the property of Hyatt Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. All other trademarks, trade names or service marks appearing in this annual report are the property of their respective owners.
Item 1. Business.
Hyatt was founded by Jay Pritzker in 1957 when he purchased the Hyatt House motel adjacent to the Los Angeles International Airport. In 2004 substantially all of the hospitality assets owned by Pritzker family business interests, including Hyatt Corporation and Hyatt International Corporation, were consolidated under a single entity whose name was subsequently changed to Global Hyatt Corporation. On June 30, 2009, Global Hyatt Corporation changed its name to Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Hyatt Hotels Corporation is a global hospitality company with widely recognized, industry leading brands. We completed our initial public offering of our Class A common stock on November 10, 2009.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation is a global hospitality company with widely recognized, industry leading brands and a tradition of innovation developed over our more than fifty-year history. We develop, own, operate, manage, franchise, license or provide services to a portfolio of properties, consisting of full service hotels, select service hotels, resorts and other properties, including timeshare, fractional and other forms of residential and vacation properties. As of December 31, 2015, our worldwide hotel portfolio consisted of 599 hotels (159,336 rooms). See Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Overview" for a categorized breakdown of our portfolio.
Our full service hotels and resorts operate under six established brands: Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Andaz, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric and Hyatt, with Hyatt Centric having launched in 2015. Our two select service brands are Hyatt Place and Hyatt House, an extended stay brand. In 2013, we introduced Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara all inclusive resort brands, which marked our entry into the all inclusive resort segment. We also manage, provide services to or license our trademarks with respect to residential ownership units that are often adjacent to a Hyatt-branded full service hotel. We consult with third parties in the design and development of such mixed-use projects. We license our trademarks with respect to vacation ownership units, which are part of the Hyatt Residence Club. In 2014, we sold our vacation ownership business to an affiliate of Interval Leisure Group ("ILG") and entered into a long-term license agreement.
Our colleagues, whom we refer to as members of the Hyatt family, are more than 100,000 individuals working at our corporate and regional offices and our managed, franchised and owned properties in 52 countries around the world. Substantially all of our hotel general managers are trained professionals in the hospitality industry with extensive hospitality experience in their local markets and host countries. The general managers of our managed properties are empowered to operate their properties on an independent basis using their market knowledge, management experience and understanding of our brands. Our colleagues and hotel general managers are supported by our regional management teams located in cities around the world and our executive management team, headquartered in Chicago.
We primarily derive our revenues from hotel operations, management and franchise fees and other revenues from managed properties. For the years ended December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, revenues totaled $4.3 billion and $4.4 billion, respectively, net income attributable to Hyatt Hotels Corporation totaled $124 million and $344 million, respectively, and Adjusted EBITDA totaled $727 million and $728 million, respectively. See Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Business Metrics Evaluated by Management—Adjusted EBITDA" for our definition of Adjusted EBITDA, why we present it, and for a reconciliation of our consolidated Adjusted EBITDA to net income attributable to Hyatt Hotels Corporation for the periods presented.
On October 1, 2012 we implemented a realignment of our corporate and regional operations to enhance organizational effectiveness and adaptability. The changes were designed to facilitate innovation and further advance Hyatt toward its goal of becoming the most preferred hospitality brand for our colleagues, guests, owners, operators, community members and shareholders. The organizational evolution was designed to position Hyatt to adapt quickly and effectively to guest and hotel owner needs during the expansion and growth we anticipate across all of our brands in multiple markets over the next several years.
As part of the realignment, we established three operating segments: Americas management and franchising; Southeast Asia, China, Australia, South Korea and Japan ("ASPAC") management and franchising; and Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia ("EAME/SW Asia") management. The operating segments, together with our owned and leased hotels, form our four reportable segments. The results of our vacation ownership business both during our period of ownership and from the ongoing license agreement after the sale of this business in the fourth quarter of 2014, combined with the Hyatt co-
branded credit card and unallocated corporate overhead, continue to be reported within corporate and other. See Note 18 to our consolidated financial statements included in this annual report for additional information on our segments.
Additionally, as part of our realignment, we created two new functions, the Real Estate and Capital Strategy Group ("Capital Strategy Group") and the Global Operations Center ("GOC"). The Capital Strategy Group, whose costs are included as part of corporate expenses, is responsible for implementing Hyatt's overall capital strategy, managing its hotel asset base and providing support to Hyatt's development professionals around the world. The GOC, whose costs are allocated to our management and franchising businesses, is charged with ensuring that Hyatt's operating segments function according to company-wide principles and standards and enabling ongoing transformation and collaboration to ensure that we optimize our structure and resources.
In furtherance of the realignment implemented in 2012, changes in 2014 included the expansion of the Capital Strategy Group responsibilities to include development and oversight of our overall franchising strategy. We also created the position of the Global President of Operations, who, together with the Group Presidents for each of Hyatt’s three lodging operating segments described above, is responsible for the successful operation of Hyatt’s hotels globally.
Our Purpose, Goal and Values
To care for people so they can be their best.
To become the most preferred hospitality brand—loved and respected by colleagues, guests, owners, operators, community members and shareholders.
Respect, integrity, humility, empathy, creativity and fun are our shared core values.
Our purpose, goal and values are brought to life by our colleagues, whom we refer to as the Hyatt family. We believe that our colleagues embody our purpose of caring for people, including each other, our guests and ultimately our owners. This commitment to genuine service and care is what differentiates us and drives guest preference. The management teams at each of our managed properties lead by example, and we provide them with the appropriate autonomy to make operational decisions in the best interest of the hotel and brand. We believe the managers of our franchised properties are experienced operators with high standards who have demonstrated commitment to our values and our approach to caring for guests to enhance guest satisfaction. High levels of guest satisfaction lead to increased guest preference for our brands, which we believe results in a strengthened revenue base over the long term. We also believe that engaged colleagues will enhance efficient operation of our properties, resulting in improved financial results for our property owners. Sustained adherence to these principles is a basis for our brand reputation and is one of the principal factors behind the decisions by our diverse group of hotel owners and developers to invest in the Hyatt portfolio of properties around the world. We work with existing and prospective hotel owners and developers to increase our presence around the world, which we expect will lead to guest satisfaction, brand preference and new channels for professional growth for our colleagues.
Our Competitive Strengths
We have significant competitive strengths that support our goal of being the most preferred brand for our colleagues, guests and owners.
World Class Brands. We believe that our widely recognized, industry leading brands provide us with a competitive advantage in attracting and driving preference for our colleagues, guests and owners. We have consistently received top rankings, awards and accolades for service and guest experience from independent publications and surveys, including Condé Nast Traveler, Travel and Leisure, Forbes and AAA. Our brand recognition and strength is key to our ability to drive preference among our colleagues, guests and owners.
Global Platform with Compelling Growth Potential. Our existing global presence is widely distributed, and our hotels operate in 20 of the 25 most populous urban centers around the globe. We believe that our existing hotels provide us with a strong platform from which to selectively pursue new growth opportunities in markets where our brands are under-represented. Our dedicated global development executives in offices around the world apply their experience, judgment and knowledge to ensure that the Hyatt portfolio of properties enhances preference for our brands. An important aspect of our compelling growth potential is our strong brand presence in higher growth markets such as India, China, the Middle East and Brazil. The combination of our existing locations and brands,
experienced development team, established third-party relationships and significant access to capital provides us with a strong foundation for future growth and long-term value creation.
Deep Culture and Experienced Management Teams. Hyatt has a strong culture rooted in values that have supported our past success and form the foundation for our future. The members of the Hyatt family are united by shared values, a single purpose and a common goal. Our colleagues at Hyatt properties are led by an experienced group of general managers. For example, the general managers at our full service managed hotels have an average tenure of more than 22 years at Hyatt. Regional management teams located around the world support our hotel general managers by providing resources, mentorship and coaching, owner support and other assistance. Senior operating management has an average of approximately 30 years of experience in the industry. Our experienced executive management team sets overall policies for our company, supports our regional teams and our colleagues around the world, provides strategic direction and leads our global growth initiatives.
Strong Capital Base and Disciplined Financial Approach. Our approach is to maintain appropriate levels of financial leverage through industry cycles and economic downturns. As of December 31, 2015, we had cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments of $503 million and available borrowing capacity of $1.5 billion. We believe that as a result of our balance sheet strength, we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of strategic opportunities to develop or acquire properties and brands. We adhere to a formal investment process in evaluating such opportunities with input from various groups within our global organization.
Diverse Exposure to Hotel Management, Franchising, Ownership and Development. We believe that our experience as a multi-brand manager, franchisor, owner and developer of hotels makes us one of the best positioned hospitality companies in the world. Our mix of managed, franchised and owned hotels provides a broad and diverse base of revenues, profits and cash flows and gives us flexibility to evaluate growth opportunities across these three lines of business.
High Quality Owned Hotels Located in Desirable Markets. As of December 31, 2015, our portfolio of properties consisted of luxury and upper-upscale full service hotels and resorts, upscale select service hotels and all inclusive resorts in key markets and totaled 33 owned properties and 35 managed or franchised properties that are owned or leased by unconsolidated hospitality ventures. Our owned full service hotels are located primarily in key markets, including major business centers and leisure destinations with strong growth potential, such as Chicago, London, Mexico City, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul and Zurich. Our hospitality ventures include 50% ownership interests in properties in Mumbai and São Paulo. A number of our owned hotels and hospitality venture properties are unique assets with high brand recognition and a strong position in their local markets. In 2014, we opened Park Hyatt New York, the flagship hotel of the globally recognized Park Hyatt brand, giving the brand representation in an additional key market. In 2013, we acquired Hyatt Regency Orlando, adding to our portfolio a high quality hotel located adjacent to one of the largest convention facilities in the United States. As a significant owner of hotel assets, we believe we are well-positioned when demand strengthens, as we expect earnings growth from owned properties to outpace revenue growth at managed properties during periods of increasing demand and room rates due to the operating leverage inherent in owned properties. This benefit can be achieved through increased earnings from our owned assets and through value realized from selected asset sales.
Our Business Strategy
Our strategy for reaching our goal to become the most preferred hospitality brand is based on differentiating Hyatt through powerful brands and innovation and generating long-term, sustainable growth for the company that will create shareholder value and career development opportunities for colleagues. We implement our strategy through a focus on four strategic priorities:
Cultivate the Best People and Evolve the Culture
Cultivating the best people and evolving the culture focuses on attracting, developing, rewarding and retaining individuals who distinguish Hyatt from our competitors and provide a unique experience to our guests. We recognize that our people and our culture are our greatest assets. Our goal is to develop a strong pipeline of diverse and talented colleagues and to provide them with opportunities to fulfill their personal potential and development while helping to make Hyatt successful.
Our brands are defined, in large part, by the commitment to genuine service and care that our colleagues deliver to our guests. We believe that while a great product is necessary for success, a service model that promotes genuine care for our guests and that is focused on their particular needs is the key to a sustainable long-term advantage. Therefore, we strive to involve our colleagues in deciding how we care for our guests and identifying what we can do to improve guest satisfaction. We rely on our hotel general managers to lead by example and foster colleague engagement. We believe that
colleague engagement results in higher levels of customer satisfaction and improves the performance of our properties. To assist in this process, we aim to ensure that talented management teams are in place worldwide and to reward those teams that achieve higher levels of colleague engagement, guest satisfaction and hotel financial performance.
Our reputation is a reflection of how we conduct ourselves and our business in the communities in which we live and work. One of our principal tools to enhance Hyatt's reputation is Hyatt Thrive, our corporate responsibility program. Through Hyatt Thrive initiatives we volunteer in our communities, support organizations that work in our communities, and work to reduce our waste and carbon footprint – in short, to make the communities in which we operate places where we want to live, where guests want to visit and where our owners want to invest.
Build and Deliver Brand-Led Experiences
In support of our goal to become the most preferred hospitality brand and to foster quality growth, we have focused on creating a meaningful portfolio of brands that deliver unique experiences. Our objective is to differentiate our brands both from one another, and from our competitors. We have developed a personality and identity for each brand that results in a distinct look and reflects experiences and attributes unique to that particular brand.
Successful innovation has been a hallmark of Hyatt since its founding, with a commitment to impactful architectural design in both the large-scale convention and smaller leisure markets. We continuously probe deeper and uncover new opportunities for enhancing the guest experience in each of our brands. We have a long track record of creative approaches to food and beverage at our hotels throughout the world, and we have created profitable and sought-after venues that create and enhance demand for our hotel properties.
Our Hyatt Gold Passport guest loyalty program is designed to attract new guests and to demonstrate our loyalty to our existing guests. In 2015, Hyatt Gold Passport won two Freddie Awards, best elite travel program in the Americas and best elite travel program in the Middle East/ Asia/ Oceania. The Hyatt Credit Card, a co-branded Visa credit card between Hyatt and Chase Card Services, continued to show strong growth in card member acquisitions and member engagement.
Operate with Excellence
A key component of our strategy is to maximize revenues and manage costs at our managed hotel properties. We strive to optimize revenues by focusing on revenue management and establishing and increasing guest loyalty to our brands. We work to expand Hyatt's share of room revenue by continuously striving to provide genuine guest service and delivering value to our guests. Our existing customer base is diverse with different needs and preferences. We aim to provide differentiated service and product offerings targeted at each customer segment within each of our brands, including meeting planners and convention guests, leisure guests and business travelers, in order to satisfy our customers' specific needs.
We manage costs by setting performance goals for our hotel management teams, and granting our general managers operational autonomy. We support these cost management efforts by providing our general managers with tools and analytics from our regional and corporate offices and by compensating our hotel management teams based on property performance. In addition to managing hotel level costs, we strive to keep corporate costs aligned with growth through efficient resource allocation, which we expect will generate savings supporting our ability to fund additional growth and further invest in our brands.
Grow With Intent
We are focused on creating long-term shareholder value, and on where and how we invest to expand our presence in key locations. We believe that the scale of our presence around the world is small relative to the recognition of our brands and our excellent reputation for service and, therefore, we have a unique opportunity to grow.
Increase Market Presence. We focus our expansion efforts on under-penetrated markets where we already have an established presence and on locations where our guests are traveling but where we do not have a presence. We intend to expand our presence by increasing the number of hotels in the Hyatt portfolio, primarily by entering into new management and franchise agreements. We believe our intense focus on each customer group that we serve and our understanding of how we can serve them in new locations will result in quality growth. Over the past few years, we have made significant progress in expanding our presence through development of new hotels and conversion of existing hotels. For example, in New York City, we have expanded our presence from one property at the time of our IPO in 2009 to eight properties as of December 31, 2015. Expansion in dynamic markets like China and India is central to our growth strategy as representation in key cities and resort destinations provides the Company with the opportunity to drive preference for our brands as we serve a broader base of guests in these high growth markets. As of
December 31, 2015, there were approximately 105 hotels open or under development in China in markets such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen. In India, the total number of hotels open or under development was approximately 40 properties as of December 31, 2015. In addition to China and India, we have also announced further expansion plans into diverse international markets including Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, New Zealand, Republic of Georgia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and Uruguay.
Expand Select Service Presence. We continue to expand Hyatt Place and Hyatt House, which we believe will support our overall growth and enhance the performance of all of our brands. We intend to grow our select service presence through third-party construction of new franchised properties, conversion and renovation of existing non-Hyatt properties, and in certain cases, participation in the development of new managed properties. We believe that the opportunity for properties that provide a select offering of services at a lower price point than full service hotels is particularly compelling in certain markets, including India, China and the Middle East, where there is a large and growing middle class along with a meaningful number of local business travelers. As of December 31, 2015, we had 19 Hyatt Place hotels operating outside of the United States in 11 countries, throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America. In addition to these hotels, we have announced new management agreements for select service properties currently under development in Brazil, Canada, China, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Increase Focus on Franchising. We continue to increase our franchised hotel presence, primarily in the United States. By increasing our focus on franchising, we believe that we will gain access to capital from developers and property owners that specifically target franchise business opportunities. We have an internal team dedicated to supporting our franchise owners and to driving the expansion of our franchised hotel presence. We plan to expand existing relationships and develop new relationships with franchisees who demonstrate an ability to provide excellent customer service and maintain our brand standards. In support of our strategy, we recently sold several individual full service hotels and portfolios of select service hotels subject to long-term franchise agreements with the purchasers.
Utilize our Capital and Asset Base for Targeted Growth. The combination of our significant liquidity and strong capital position coupled with our large, high quality asset base provides a unique platform to support our growth strategy. We take a comprehensive approach to our efforts to recycle hotel real estate assets and to manage capital deployment in furtherance of our expansion plans. Capital deployment will continue to be done with an objective to maximize long-term shareholder value and we will assess and balance liquidity, value and strategic importance in each instance. We also will continue to commit capital to fund the renovation of certain assets in our owned portfolio. While we will selectively dispose of hotel properties, we expect to maintain significant ownership of hotel properties over time given our focus and expertise as an owner. During 2014 and 2015, we sold several individual full service hotels and portfolios of select service hotels. Asset sales are consistent with the Company’s asset recycling strategy—selling certain hotels, maintaining presence in markets by entering into new management or franchise agreements, and re-investing sale proceeds into new hotels and other growth opportunities, including investments in hospitality ventures.
Pursue Strategic Acquisitions and Alliances. We expect to continue to evaluate potential acquisitions of other brands or hospitality management or franchising companies as a part of our efforts to expand our presence. These acquisitions may include hotel real estate. We expect to focus on acquisitions that complement our ability to serve our existing customer base and enhance customer preference by providing a greater selection of locations, properties and services. Furthermore, we may pursue these opportunities in alliance with existing or prospective owners of managed or franchised properties to strengthen our brand presence.
Description of Our Brands
December 31, 2015 Rooms/Units (1)
% of our
EAME/SW Asia Region
Individual business and leisure travelers; small meetings
Buenos Aires, Dubai,
Paris, New York, Shanghai, Sydney,
Individual business and leisure travelers; large and small meetings, social events
New York, Tokyo
Individual business and leisure travelers; small meetings
Los Angeles, Maui, New York,
Conventions, business and leisure travelers; large and small meetings, social events; associations
Mexico City, Orlando, San Francisco
Business and leisure travelers; small meetings
Canopy, Kimpton, Renaissance, Joie de Vivre, independent and boutique hotels
Chicago, Long Beach, Miami, Park City
Business and leisure travelers; small meetings
Abu Dhabi, New York,
San Francisco, Seattle,
Individual business and leisure travelers; small meetings
Miami, Phoenix, Santiago
Extended stay guests; individual business and leisure travelers;
Leisure travelers; families; small meetings
Club Med, Sandals, Beaches
San Jose del Cabo, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, Mexico; Rose Hall, Jamaica;
Leisure travelers; adult-only; small meetings
Club Med, Sandals, Beaches
Cancun, Mexico; Rose Hall, Jamaica
vacation units, repeat Hyatt business and leisure guests
Aspen, Beaver Creek, Beijing, Carmel, Danang
Dubai, Key West, Maui, Park City
(1) Rooms/Units count includes owned, leased, managed, franchised, branded residential, hospitality ventures and vacation ownership properties licensed under the Hyatt Residence Club brand.
Park Hyatt hotels provide discerning, affluent individual business and leisure guests with elegant and luxurious accommodations. Guests of Park Hyatt hotels receive gracious service and enjoy rare and intimate experiences in a thoughtfully designed contemporary environment. Located in many of the world’s premier destinations, each Park Hyatt hotel is custom designed to combine sophistication with distinctive regional character. Park Hyatt hotels feature well-appointed guestrooms, meeting and special event spaces for smaller groups, critically acclaimed food, wine and art programs and signature restaurants featuring award-winning chefs.
Grand Hyatt hotels are distinctive hotels in major gateway cities and resort destinations. With presence around the world and critical mass in Asia, Grand Hyatt hotels provide sophisticated global business and leisure travelers with elegant accommodations, extraordinary restaurants, bars, spas and fitness centers, as well as comprehensive business and meeting facilities. Signature elements of Grand Hyatt hotels include dramatic architecture, state of the art technology and facilities for an array of business or social gatherings of all sizes.
Each Andaz hotel brings the local destination to life for its guests. The hotels are designed to reflect their surroundings and feature a unique and innovative service model that creates a barrier-free and non-traditional environment. Guests will experience personalized and unscripted service where they can become inspired by the spirit of the local community. Signature elements include Andaz Lounges, which are open, communal settings replacing the traditional lobby, Andaz Studios, which are creative and inspiring spaces for small meetings and gatherings, and Andaz Hosts, who are local experts that can assist guests with everything from check-in to recommending the best and most authentic spot in town for dinner.
Hyatt Regency hotels offer a full range of services and facilities tailored to serve the needs of meeting planners, business travelers and leisure guests. Hyatt Regency convention hotels feature meeting and conference facilities of all sizes designed to provide a productive, connected environment. Hyatt Regency hotels in resort locations cater to couples seeking a getaway, families enjoying a vacation together and corporate groups seeking an atmosphere in which to conduct business and meetings.
Hyatt Centric hotels are full service lifestyle hotels created for millennial-minded guests who view their hotel as more than a place to stay. Hyatt Centric hotels are centrally located in every destination, this means being both "in the middle of the action" and "in the know" so that both leisure and business travelers can easily explore the destination and get a feel for the local flavor. A staff of knowledgeable colleagues is on hand to aid guests in their discovery of their surroundings.
Hyatt hotels are smaller-sized properties conveniently located in diverse business and leisure areas. Regardless of the reason for a guest's stay, our Hyatt hotels provide guests with a home base as they discover and explore our neighborhoods. Hyatt hotels accommodate individual business and leisure travelers, as well as smaller scale business meetings and social gatherings.
Hyatt Place hotels create a modern, comfortable and seamless experience, combining style and innovation to create a casual simple hotel environment for today's multi-tasking traveler. Modern spacious guestrooms feature a Cozy Corner sofa sleeper, the Hyatt Grand BedTM and 42" HDTV. Guests enjoy the A.M. Kitchen SkilletTM, a complimentary hot breakfast. Hyatt Place hotels also offer the 24/7 Gallery Menu and the Coffee to Cocktails Bar, which features specialty coffees, premium beer, wine and spirits. Properties typically have 125 to 200 rooms and are located in urban, airport and suburban areas. Hyatt Place hotels cater to business travelers, as well as leisure guests and families. Hyatt Place hotels are also well suited to serve small meetings and events.
Hyatt House hotels are designed to welcome guests as extended stay residents and offer services, amenities, communal spaces and a casual, comfortable environment that reminds guests of home. Apartment-style Kitchen Suites with fully equipped kitchens, comfortable living rooms and spacious bedrooms provide guests with the spaces that fit their needs. Guests can enjoy the complimentary hot breakfast, the Morning Spread, and the H BAR with a Sip+Savor Menu and full bar. Located in urban, airport and suburban areas, Hyatt House hotels cater to extended stay business travelers, as well as leisure travelers and families. Hyatt House hotels are also well suited to serve small meetings and events.
Hyatt Ziva all inclusive resorts are designed for vacationing guests of all ages and offer a variety of on-site activities and opportunities to explore the unique destinations in which the properties are located. Hyatt Ziva resorts feature a wide array of food and beverage outlets with an emphasis on authentic cuisine and are able to cater to social or business groups with varied and well-appointed meeting facilities.
Hyatt Zilara adult-only all inclusive resorts are located in sought after, unique resort destinations. They offer a wide array of food and beverage services with a focus on authentic and often locally-sourced ingredients. The resorts offer many social activities and live entertainment, as well as a variety of meeting spaces. The resorts are designed so that couples or small groups can enjoy intimate, sophisticated surroundings.
Hyatt Residence Club
Hyatt Residence Club provides members with vacation ownership opportunities in regionally inspired and designed residential-style properties with the quality of the Hyatt brand. Members pre-purchase time at a Hyatt Residence Club property and have the flexibility of usage, exchange and rental. Hyatt Residence Club members can choose to occupy their vacation home, exchange time among 16 Hyatt Residence Club locations, trade their time for Hyatt Gold Passport points or travel within the Hyatt system. Alternatively, members can exchange their intervals for stays at other properties participating within Interval International’s program, which has over 2,900 resorts in its exchange network worldwide.
Residential Ownership Units
Residential ownership units refer to residential units that we manage, or to which we provide services or license our trademarks, such as serviced apartments and Hyatt-branded residential units. Many locations are near or adjacent to full service hotels that are members of the Hyatt portfolio of properties, while others are in unique leisure locations. Studio units feature kitchenettes, while one, two and three bedroom units contain fully equipped kitchens, dining areas and living rooms. Residents in some locations are able to utilize various nearby Hyatt hotel services.
Our Commitment to Corporate Responsibility
Hyatt’s global corporate responsibility platform, Hyatt Thrive, is an integral part of our business. We recognize that when our people, communities and planet thrive, so does our business. The platform is focused on environmental stewardship, strengthening our community impact through volunteerism, philanthropy and disaster relief and ensuring that responsible business practices govern our operations. By setting goals, measuring progress, and harnessing the power of our more than 100,000 colleagues around the world, we strive to make a tangible impact within and beyond the walls of our hotels. And as a result, we believe our communities are places where our colleagues want to work, our guests want to visit, our neighbors want to live and hotel owners want to invest.
During 2015, we announced a partnership with Khan Academy, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing free access to world-class education online. This partnership will assist us in bringing learning programs to all our colleagues around the world, their families and their communities.
We manage hotels and residential properties worldwide pursuant to management agreements.
Our management agreements typically provide for a two-tiered fee structure that compensates us both for the volume of business we generate for the property as well as for the profitability of hotel operations. In these two-tier fee structures, our base compensation is a base fee that is usually an agreed upon percentage of gross revenues from hotel operations. In addition, we are incentivized to improve hotel profitability through an incentive fee that is typically calculated as a percentage of a hotel profitability measure, such as gross operating profit, adjusted profit or the amount by which gross operating profit or adjusted profit exceeds a specified threshold. Outside of the United States our fees are often more dependent on hotel profitability measures either through a single management fee structure where the entire fee is based on a profitability measure, or because our two-tier fee structure is more heavily weighted toward the incentive fee than the base fee.
Terms and Renewals
The average remaining term of our management agreements with third-party owners and unconsolidated hospitality ventures for full service hotels and select service hotels (other than those currently under development) is approximately as follows:
Assuming no renewal options are exercised by either party:
Including exercise of extension options that are in Hyatt's sole discretion and assuming in certain cases that financial performance tests have been met:
Full service management agreements:
Select service management agreements:
Some of our management agreements grant early termination rights to hotel owners upon the occurrence of a stated event, such as the sale of the hotel or our failure to meet a specified performance test (any such event a “termination event”). In the case of a termination event, some of our management agreements grant hotel owners the right to terminate the management agreement and convert the hotel to a Hyatt franchise. Generally, termination rights under performance tests are based upon the property's individual performance or its performance when compared to a specified set of competitive hotels branded by other hotel operators, or both. These termination rights are usually triggered if we do not meet the performance tests over multiple years. We generally have the option to cure performance failures by paying an amount equal to the shortfall, but in some cases our cure rights may be limited and the result of our failure to meet a performance test may be the termination of our management agreement.
Many of our management agreements are subordinated to mortgages or other secured indebtedness of the owners. In the United States, most lenders have agreed to recognize our right to continue to manage the hotels under the terms set forth in the management agreements if the lenders take possession of the hotel property through foreclosure or similar means.
Our franchise agreements grant our franchisees the limited right to use our name, marks and system in the operation of franchised Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara properties. We do not participate in the management of our franchised hotels; however, franchisees are required to operate franchised hotels consistent with our brand standards. We approve the plans for, and the location of, franchised hotels and review the operation of these hotels to ensure that our standards are maintained.
In general, our franchisees pay us an initial application fee and ongoing royalty fees, the amount of which depends on whether the franchised property is a select service hotel or full service hotel. We franchise full service hotels under the Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric and Hyatt brands, and all inclusive resorts under the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara brands. We franchise
select service hotels under the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands. Application fees are typically $60,000 for our Hyatt Place hotels and our Hyatt House hotels and the greater of $100,000 or $300 per guest room for our full service hotels and all inclusive resorts. Select service franchisees pay continuing franchise fees calculated as a percentage of gross room revenues, which typically are 3% in the first year of operations, 4% in the second year and 5% through the remainder of the term. Our Hyatt Regency and Hyatt franchisees typically pay us franchise fees calculated as 6% of gross room revenues and 3% of gross food and beverage revenues. Our Hyatt Centric franchisees typically pay us franchise fees calculated as 5% of gross room revenues. In some circumstances, we have negotiated other fee arrangements. Our all inclusive franchisees typically pay us franchise fees calculated as 2.75% of gross revenues.
In addition to our franchise fees, we charge full service hotel and all inclusive resort franchisees for certain services arranged and provided by us. These activities include centralized reservation functions, certain sales functions, information technology, national advertising, marketing and promotional services, as well as various revenue management services. We also charge select service franchisees for marketing, central reservations and technology services.
Terms and Renewals
The standard term of our franchise agreements is typically 20 years, with one 10 year renewal option exercisable by the franchisee, assuming the franchisee has complied with franchise agreement requirements and standards. Certain of our franchise agreements have renewal options at Hyatt's option. We have the right to terminate franchise agreements upon specified events of default, including non-payment of fees and non-compliance with brand standards. In the event of early termination for any reason, our franchise agreements set forth liquidated damages that our franchisees must pay to us upon termination. The bankruptcy of a franchisee or lender foreclosure could result in the termination of the franchise agreement. The average remaining base term of our franchise agreements for our select service and full service hotels (other than those currently under development) is approximately 17 years, assuming no renewal options are exercised by either party. Including exercise of extension options in Hyatt’s discretion, the average remaining term of our franchise agreements for our select service hotels and full service hotels (other than those currently under development) is approximately 19 years.
Business Segment, Revenues and Geographical Information
For information regarding our four reportable business segments, revenues and geographical information, see Note 18 to our consolidated financial statements included in this annual report.
Sales, Marketing and Reservations
We deploy a global sales team as well as regional sales teams in our Americas, ASPAC and EAME/SW Asia segments. The global team is responsible for our largest and most significant accounts doing business in all three regions. The regional teams are responsible for large accounts that typically do business within one region but at multiple hotels within the region. The global and regional sales teams coordinate efforts with the hotel sales teams. The in-house sales colleagues are focused on local and regional business opportunities, as well as securing the business generated from our key global and regional accounts.
Our corporate sales organizations are focused on growing market share with key accounts, identifying new business opportunities and maximizing our local customer base. Our key accounts consist of: major corporations; national, state and regional associations; specialty market accounts (social, government, military, educational, religious and fraternal); travel organizations; and a broad and diverse group of individual consumers. Our global and regional sales teams target multiple brands to key customer accounts within these groups. No one customer is material to our business. Our global and regional teams consist of over 200 colleagues at global and regional sales offices around the world, who are focused on group business, business and leisure traveler accounts and travel agencies.
Sales colleagues at our regional offices and at many of our full service hotels use Envision, our proprietary sales tool, to manage the group rooms forecast, maintain an inventory of definite and tentative group rooms booked each day, streamline the process of checking guest room availability and rate quotes, and determine meeting room availability.
We seek to maximize revenues in each hotel through a team of revenue management professionals. The goal of revenue management is to secure the right customers, on the right date, at the right price. Business opportunities are reviewed and agreed upon by the hotel's management team.
Our marketing strategy is designed to maintain and build brand loyalty, value and awareness while meeting the specific business needs of hotel operations. Building and differentiating each of our brands is critical to increasing Hyatt's brand
preference. We are focused on targeting the distinct guest segments that each of our brands serves and supporting the needs of the hotels by thorough analysis and application of data and analytics. Hyatt Gold Passport and Hyatt.com are also key components of building loyalty and driving revenue. Hyatt Gold Passport is a loyalty program with a focus on driving guest satisfaction, recognition and differential services for our most loyal guests. Hyatt.com is our primary online distribution channel providing customers with an efficient source of information about our hotels and an effective booking experience. With a combined focus on increasing brand awareness, building a community of loyalists and enhancing digital engagement, our marketing is aimed at Hyatt becoming the most preferred hospitality brand.
We have a central reservation system that provides a comprehensive view of inventory, while allowing for local management of rates based on demand. Through this system, we are able to allow bookings by hotels directly, via telephone through our call centers, by travel agents and online through Hyatt.com.
We have seven global contact centers that service our global guest base 24 hours per day, seven days per week and provide reservation services in over 20 languages. While we continue to provide full reservation services via telephone through our global contact centers, we have made significant investments in internet booking capabilities on Hyatt.com web and mobile platforms.
In addition, some of the rooms at hotels and resorts we manage or franchise are booked through internet travel intermediaries, partners or online travel service providers. We also engage third-party intermediaries who collect fees by charging our hotels and resorts a commission on room revenues, including travel agencies and meeting and event management companies.
Hyatt Gold Passport
We operate Hyatt Gold Passport, a guest loyalty program that generates substantial repeat guest business by rewarding frequent stays with points toward free hotel nights and other rewards.
Hyatt Gold Passport members earn points based on their spending at our properties or in connection with spending on the Hyatt Credit Card. Hyatt Gold Passport points can be redeemed at all properties across our brands and can also be converted into airline miles with numerous participating airlines and redeemed with other third parties.
Hyatt Gold Passport is funded through a contribution from eligible revenues generated from Hyatt Gold Passport members. These funds are applied to reimburse hotels for room nights when members redeem Hyatt Gold Passport points and to pay for administrative expenses and marketing initiatives to support the program.
As of December 31, 2015, Hyatt Gold Passport had over 20 million members, and during 2015, Hyatt Gold Passport members represented 35% of total room nights systemwide.
There is intense competition in all areas of the hospitality industry. Competition exists for hotel guests, management and franchise agreements, and sales of vacation ownership properties and branded residential properties. Our principal competitors are other operators of full service, select service, all inclusive and extended stay properties, including other major hospitality chains with well-established and recognized brands. We also compete against small chains and independent and local owners and operators. Increasingly, we also face competition from new channels of distribution in the travel industry. Additional sources of competition include large companies that offer online travel services as part of their business model, such as Alibaba, search engines such as Google, and peer-to-peer inventory sources that allow travelers to book stays on websites that facilitate the short-term rental of homes and apartments from owners, thereby providing an alternative to hotel rooms, such as Airbnb and HomeAway.
We compete for guests based primarily on brand name recognition and reputation, location, customer satisfaction, room rates, quality of service, amenities, quality of accommodations, security and the ability to earn and redeem loyalty program points.
We compete for management agreements based primarily on the value and quality of our management services, our brand name recognition and reputation, our ability and willingness to invest our capital in third-party owned or hospitality venture projects, the level of our management fees and the economic advantages to the property owner of retaining our management services and using our brand name. We compete for franchise agreements based primarily on brand name recognition and reputation, the room rate that can be realized and total revenues we can deliver to the properties. Other competitive factors for management and franchise agreements include relationships with property owners and investors, including institutional owners
of multiple properties, marketing support, reservation and e-commerce system capacity and efficiency, and the ability to make investments that may be necessary to obtain management and franchise agreements.
The number of branded lodging operators with a global reach and depth of product and offerings similar to us is limited. We believe that our strong customer base, prominent brand recognition, strategic property locations and global development team enable us to compete effectively. For additional information, see Part I, Item 1A, "Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business—Because we operate in a highly competitive industry, our revenues, profits or market share could be harmed if we are unable to compete effectively, and new distribution channels, alternatives to traditional hotels and industry consolidation among our competitors may negatively impact our business."
The hospitality industry is seasonal in nature. The periods during which our lodging properties experience higher revenues vary from property to property, depending principally upon location and the customer base served. Based upon historical results, our properties in the Americas typically generate the highest revenues in the second quarter and the lowest in the first quarter. In both ASPAC and in EAME/SW Asia, the highest revenues typically are generated in the fourth quarter with the next highest revenues generated in the second quarter.
The hospitality industry is cyclical and generally follows, on a lagged basis, the overall economy. There is a history of increases and decreases in demand for hotel rooms, in occupancy levels and in rates realized by owners of hotels through economic cycles. Variability of results through some of the cycles in the past has been more severe due to changes in the supply of hotel rooms in given markets or in given categories of hotels. The combination of changes in economic conditions and in the supply of hotel rooms can result in significant volatility in results for owners, managers and franchisors of hotel properties. The costs of running a hotel tend to be more fixed than variable. Because of this, in an environment of declining revenues the rate of decline in earnings will be higher than the rate of decline in revenues. Conversely, in an environment of increasing demand and room rates, the rate of increase in earnings is typically higher than the rate of increase in revenues.
In the highly competitive hospitality industry in which we operate, trademarks, service marks, trade names and logos are very important in the sales and marketing of our hotels, residential and vacation ownership properties and services. We have a significant number of trademarks, service marks, trade names, logos and pending registrations, and significant resources are expended each year on surveillance, registration and protection of our trademarks, service marks, trade names and logos, which we believe have become synonymous in the hospitality industry with a reputation for excellence in service and care. For additional information, see Part I, Item 1A, "Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Business—Any failure to protect our trademarks and intellectual property could reduce the value of our brand names and harm our business."
We are subject to numerous foreign, federal, state and local government laws and regulations, including those relating to the preparation and sale of food and beverages, building and zoning requirements, data privacy and general business license and permit requirements, in the various jurisdictions in which we manage, franchise, license and own properties. Our ability to develop new hotel properties and to remodel, refurbish or add to existing properties is also dependent on obtaining permits from local authorities. We are also subject to laws governing our relationships with employees, including minimum wage requirements, overtime, working conditions, hiring and firing, non-discrimination for disabilities and other individual characteristics, work permits and benefit offerings. Federal, state and provincial laws and regulations require certain registration, disclosure statements, compliance with specific standards of conduct and other practices with respect to the franchising of hotels. Additionally, the vacation ownership properties we operated prior to disposition in the fourth quarter of 2014 are subject to local, state and federal requirements regarding the licensing of sales agents, compliance of marketing materials and numerous other requirements regarding the sale and management of vacation ownership properties. Compliance with these various laws and regulations can affect the revenues and profits of properties managed, franchised, licensed or owned and of the vacation ownership business and could adversely affect our operations. We believe that our businesses are conducted in substantial compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
We manage and own hotels with casino gaming operations as part of or adjacent to the hotels. However, with the exception of the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino, third parties manage and operate the casinos. We hold and maintain the casino gaming license and manage the casino located at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino and employ third-party compliance consultants and service providers. As a result, our business operations at the Hyatt Regency
Aruba Resort Spa and Casino are subject to the licensing and regulatory control of the Departamento pa Asuntonan di Casino (D.A.C.), the regulatory agency responsible for gaming licenses and operations in Aruba.
As of December 31, 2015, we had approximately 45,000 employees at our corporate offices, regional offices, owned and managed hotels and residential properties. Approximately 27% of those employees were either represented by a labor union or had terms of employment that were determined under a labor agreement. Some of our more than 100,000 colleagues are employed by certain third-party owners and franchisees of our hotels and are not included in the 45,000 figure above because we do not directly employ them. We believe relations with our employees and colleagues are good.
In connection with our ownership and management of hotels and development of other real properties, we are subject to various foreign, federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations relating to environmental protection. Under some of these laws, a current or former owner or operator of real property may be held liable for the costs of investigating or remediating hazardous or toxic substances or wastes on, under or in such real property, as well as third-party sites where the owner or operator sent wastes for disposal. Such laws may impose liability without regard to whether the owner or operator knew, or was at fault in connection with, the presence or release of such hazardous substances or wastes. Although we are not aware of any current material obligations for investigating or remediating hazardous substances or wastes at our owned properties, the future discovery of substances or wastes at any of our owned properties, or the failure to remediate such contaminated property properly, could adversely affect our ability to develop or sell such real estate, or to borrow using such real estate as collateral. In addition, the costs of investigating or remediating contamination, at our properties or at properties where we sent substances or wastes for disposal, may be substantial.
We are also subject to various requirements, including those contained in environmental permits required for our operations, governing air emissions, effluent discharges, the use, management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes and health and safety. From time to time, we may be required to manage, abate or remove mold, lead or asbestos-containing materials at our properties. We believe that our properties and operations are in compliance, in all material respects, with all foreign, federal, state and local environmental laws and ordinances. However, additional operating costs and capital expenditures could be incurred if additional or more stringent requirements are enacted in the future.
Properties that the Company owns outright or through hospitality ventures, manages, franchises and licenses are insured under different insurance programs depending on whether the property participates in our insurance programs or in the insurance programs of the owner (including hospitality ventures), franchisee or licensee. We maintain insurance coverage for hotels owned by the Company under our insurance programs for liability, property, workers compensation and other risks with respect to our business. Our liability insurance provides coverage for most claims, including terrorism, resulting from our operations, goods and services and automobiles. Our property insurance provides coverage for all risks to our properties including fire, windstorm, flood, earthquake and terrorism. Property insurance also includes business interruption coverage. Our workers compensation insurance provides coverage for employee injuries in the course and scope of employment. Hotels owned by hospitality ventures or hotels managed by the Company are permitted to participate in our insurance programs by mutual agreement with our hospitality venture partners or third-party hotel owners. The majority of hotels owned by hospitality ventures and managed hotels owned by third parties participate in our insurance programs. Our hospitality venture agreements and management agreements require hotels owned by hospitality ventures and managed hotels owned by third parties that do not participate in our insurance programs to be insured at coverage levels generally consistent with the coverage levels under our insurance programs, including liability, property, business interruption, workers compensation and other insurance. We are typically covered under these insurance policies to the extent necessary and reasonable. Our franchise and license agreements require our franchisees and licensees to maintain liability, property, business interruption, workers compensation and other insurance at our franchised or licensed properties. We are typically covered under these insurance policies to the extent necessary and reasonable. We believe the Company's insurance policies, as well as those maintained by third-party owners, including hospitality ventures, are adequate for foreseeable losses and on terms and conditions that are reasonable and customary with solvent insurance carriers. We also self-insure some of our risks generally through the use of deductibles and retentions. We believe these deductibles and retentions are reasonable and customary for our industry and our size. We use a U.S. based and licensed captive insurance company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyatt to generally insure our deductibles and retentions.
The following is a summary of the provisions of the Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement, the Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement and the Global Hyatt Corporation 2007 Stockholders' Agreement (the "2007 Stockholders' Agreement"). The following descriptions of these agreements do not purport to be complete and are subject to, and qualified in their entirety by, the Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement, Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement and 2007 Stockholders' Agreement, copies of which have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and are incorporated by reference herein. For additional information regarding these agreements, please also refer to Part I, Item 1A, "Risk Factors—Risks Related to Share Ownership and Other Stockholder Matters."
Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement
The trustees of the U.S. situs trusts for the benefit of certain lineal descendants of Nicholas J. Pritzker, deceased, that own, directly or indirectly, shares of our common stock, and the adult beneficiaries of such trusts, including Mr. Thomas J. Pritzker, our executive chairman, and Mr. Jason Pritzker, one of our directors, have entered into the Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement pursuant to which they have agreed to, among other things, certain voting agreements and limitations on the sale of shares of our common stock. As of January 31, 2016, Pritzker family business interests own, directly or indirectly, 84,541,406 shares, or 62.3%, of our total outstanding common stock and control approximately 75.3% of our total voting power. Specifically, such parties have agreed that until the date upon which more than 75% of the Company's fully diluted shares of common stock is owned by persons other than Pritzker family members and spouses (including any U.S. or non-U.S. situs trusts for the current or future, direct or indirect, vested or contingent, benefit of Pritzker family members and spouses), all Pritzkers (and their successors in interest, if applicable), but not the transferees by sale (other than Pritzkers who purchase directly from other Pritzkers), will vote all of their voting securities consistent with the recommendations of our board of directors with respect to all matters assuming agreement as to any such matter by a majority of a minimum of three independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker) or, in the case of transactions involving us and an affiliate, assuming agreement of all of such minimum of three independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker). All Pritzkers have agreed to cast and submit by proxy to us their votes in a manner consistent with the foregoing voting agreement at least five business days prior to the scheduled date of any annual or special meeting of stockholders.
In addition, such parties have agreed that until the date upon which more than 75% of the Company's fully diluted shares of common stock is owned by persons other than Pritzker family members and spouses (including any U.S. or non-U.S. situs trusts for the current or future, direct or indirect, vested or contingent, benefit of any Pritzker family members and spouses), all Pritzker family members and spouses (including U.S. and non-U.S. situs trusts for the current or future, direct or indirect, vested or contingent, benefit of any Pritzker family members and spouses or affiliates of any thereof) in a "beneficiary group" (including trusts only to the extent of the then current benefit of members of such beneficiary group) may sell up to 25% of their aggregate holdings of our common stock, measured as of November 4, 2009, the date of effectiveness of the registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-161068) relating to our initial public offering of our Class A common stock, in each 12-month period following the date of effectiveness of such registration statement (without carry-overs), and shall not sell more than such amount during any such period. Upon the unanimous affirmative vote of our independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker), such 25% limitation may, with respect to each such 12 month period, be increased to a higher percentage or waived entirely. Sales of our common stock, including Class A common stock and Class B common stock, between and among Pritzkers is permitted without regard to the sale restrictions described above and such sales are not counted against the 25% sale limitation.
All shares of our common stock owned by each beneficiary group (including trusts only to the extent of the then current benefit of members of such beneficiary group) are freely pledgeable to an institutional lender and such institutional lender will not be subject to the sale restrictions described above upon default and foreclosure.
The Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement may be amended, modified, supplemented or restated by the written agreement of the successors to Mr. Thomas J. Pritzker, Mr. Marshall E. Eisenberg and Mr. Karl J. Breyer, solely in their capacity as co-trustees of the Pritzker family U.S. situs trusts, 75% of the adult beneficiaries named below and a majority of the other adult beneficiaries party to the agreement. Each of Thomas J. Pritzker, Nicholas J. Pritzker, Jennifer N. Pritzker, John A. Pritzker, Linda Pritzker, Karen L. Pritzker, Penny Pritzker, Daniel F. Pritzker, Anthony N. Pritzker, Gigi Pritzker Pucker and Jay Robert Pritzker, and their respective lineal descendants and current spouse, if relevant, make up a "beneficiary group."
Disputes that relate to the subject matter of the Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement are subject to arbitration pursuant to the terms of the agreement. The exclusive requirement to arbitrate under the Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement shall not apply with respect to the manner in which Hyatt's operations are conducted to the extent the parties (in their capacities as stockholders) and non-Pritzker public stockholders are affected comparably; provided, however, that a party may participate in and benefit from any shareholder litigation initiated by a non-party to the agreement. A party to the agreement may not solicit others to initiate or be a named plaintiff in such litigation (i) unless two thirds of the independent
directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker) of a board of directors having at least three independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker) do not vote in favor of the matter that is the subject of the litigation or (ii) in the case of affiliated transactions reviewed by our board of directors, unless at least one independent director (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker) did not approve the transaction.
Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement
The trustees of the non-U.S. situs trusts for the benefit of certain lineal descendants of Nicholas J. Pritzker, deceased, that own, directly or indirectly, shares of our common stock, and the adult beneficiaries of such trusts, including Mr. Thomas J. Pritzker and Mr. Jason Pritzker, have entered into the Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement pursuant to which they have agreed to, among other things, certain voting agreements and limitations on the sale of shares of our common stock. As of January 31, 2016, Pritzker family business interests own, directly or indirectly, 84,541,406 shares, or 62.3%, of our total outstanding common stock and control approximately 75.3% of our total voting power. Specifically, such parties have agreed that until the date upon which more than 75% of the Company's fully diluted shares of common stock is owned by persons other than Pritzker family members and spouses (including any U.S. or non-U.S. situs trusts for the current or future, direct or indirect, vested or contingent, benefit of any Pritzker family members and spouses), all Pritzkers (and their successors in interest, if applicable), but not the transferees by sale (other than Pritzkers who purchase directly from other Pritzkers), will vote (or cause to be voted) all of the voting securities held directly or indirectly by them consistent with the recommendations of our board of directors with respect to all matters assuming agreement as to any such matter by a majority of a minimum of three independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker) or, in the case of transactions involving us and an affiliate, assuming agreement of all of such minimum of three independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker). All Pritzkers have agreed to cast and submit by proxy to us their votes in a manner consistent with the foregoing voting agreement at least five business days prior to the scheduled date of any annual or special meeting of stockholders.
In addition, such parties have agreed that until the date upon which more than 75% of the Company's fully diluted shares of common stock is owned by persons other than Pritzker family members and spouses (including any U.S. or non-U.S. situs trusts for the current or future, direct or indirect, vested or contingent, benefit of any Pritzker family members and spouses), all Pritzker family members and spouses (including U.S. and non-U.S. situs trusts for the current or future, direct or indirect, vested or contingent, benefit of any Pritzker family members and spouses and/or affiliates of any thereof) in a "beneficiary group" (including trusts only to the extent of the then current benefit of members of such beneficiary group) may sell up to 25% of their aggregate holdings of our common stock, measured as of November 4, 2009, the date of effectiveness of the registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-161068) relating to our initial public offering of our Class A common stock, in each 12-month period following the date of effectiveness of such registration statement (without carry-overs), and shall not sell more than such amount during any such period. Upon the unanimous affirmative vote of our independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker), such 25% limitation may, with respect to each such 12 month period, be increased to a higher percentage or waived entirely. Sales of our common stock, including Class A common stock and Class B common stock, between and among Pritzkers is permitted without regard to the sale restrictions described above and such sales are not counted against the 25% sale limitation.
All shares of our common stock owned directly or indirectly by each beneficiary group (including trusts only to the extent of the then current benefit of members of such beneficiary group) are freely pledgeable to an institutional lender and such institutional lender will not be subject to the sale restrictions described above upon default and foreclosure.
The Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement may be amended, modified, supplemented or restated by the written agreement of 75% of the adult beneficiaries named below and a majority of the other adult beneficiaries party to the agreement. Each of Thomas J. Pritzker, Nicholas J. Pritzker, Jennifer N. Pritzker, John A. Pritzker, Linda Pritzker, Karen L. Pritzker, Penny Pritzker, Daniel F. Pritzker, Anthony N. Pritzker, Gigi Pritzker Pucker and Jay Robert Pritzker, and their respective lineal descendants and current spouse, if relevant, make up a "beneficiary group."
Disputes that relate to the subject matter of the Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement are subject to arbitration pursuant to the terms of the agreement. The exclusive requirement to arbitrate under the Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement shall not apply with respect to the manner in which Hyatt's operations are conducted to the extent the parties (in their capacities as stockholders) and non-Pritzker public stockholders are affected comparably; provided, however, that a party may participate in and benefit from any shareholder litigation initiated by a non-party to the agreement. A party to the agreement may not solicit others to initiate or be a named plaintiff in such litigation (i) unless two thirds of the independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker) of a board of directors having at least three independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker) do not vote in favor of the matter that is the subject of the litigation or (ii) in the case of affiliated transactions reviewed by our board of directors, unless at least one independent director (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker) did not approve the transaction.
2007 Stockholders' Agreement
In connection with the issuance and sale of 100,000 shares of our Series A Convertible Preferred Stock to GS Sunray Holdings, L.L.C. ("GSSH") and GS Sunray Holdings Parallel, L.L.C. ("GSSHP" and collectively with GSSH, the "Goldman Sachs Funds"), affiliates of Goldman, Sachs & Co., and the execution of a Subscription Agreement in August 2007, we entered into the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement with Madrone GHC, LLC and affiliates (collectively, "Madrone"), the Goldman Sachs Funds and an additional investor that provides for certain rights and obligations of these stockholders, including the following:
Other than with respect to the 6,118,275 shares of common stock received by such stockholders in the May 2009 private placement transaction (which, upon the filing of our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation on November 4, 2009, were reclassified into an equal number of shares of Class B common stock), these stockholders were previously restricted from transferring any shares of our common stock held by them, except to us, or with the prior written consent of our board of directors, to their affiliates, in limited amounts over specified time periods and as otherwise permitted pursuant to the terms of the agreement. The transfer restrictions set forth in the 2007 Stockholders’ Agreement, other than those set forth below, expired at 11:59 p.m. (Central time) on May 11, 2015, which is the day after the date that is the five and one-half year anniversary of November 10, 2009 (the closing date of our initial public offering). However, all shares held by such stockholders, including those received in the May 2009 private placement transaction, remain subject to the rights of first refusal and "drag along" rights described below.
No stockholder party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement may transfer (1) the legal or beneficial ownership of any common stock held by such stockholder unless such acquiring person's ownership of common stock is not reasonably likely to jeopardize any licensing from a governmental authority, as determined by our board of directors in its reasonable discretion, (2) any common stock to an aggregator (meaning a person who is required to file a Schedule 13D under the Exchange Act disclosing an interest other than for investment), (3) any common stock to a competitor of ours engaged in one or more of the hospitality, lodging and/or gaming industries or (4) any common stock that would cause a stockholder to violate any provision of the agreement. Such restrictions are qualified by the "actual knowledge" of the transferring stockholder in the case of transfers pursuant to an underwritten public offering or a broad distribution sale.
Right of First Refusal
In the event that the number of shares of common stock proposed to be transferred by a stockholder party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement and its affiliates together with any shares of common stock then proposed to be transferred by the other stockholders party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement and their affiliates exceeds 2% of the then outstanding shares of common stock, then prior to consummating the sale of common stock to a third-party purchaser, such stockholder or stockholders shall offer to transfer the common stock to us at the applicable market value (as defined in the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement). If we do not accept the offer within a specified period of time, such stockholder or stockholders may transfer the shares of common stock to the third-party purchaser as long as such transfer occurs within the time periods specified in the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement and on terms and conditions no more favorable in the aggregate than those offered to us.
In connection with a "change of control" (as defined in the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement) transaction, we have the right to require each stockholder party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement to participate in such change of control transaction on the same terms, conditions and price per share of common stock as those applicable to the other holders of our common stock. In addition, upon our request, the stockholders party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement have agreed to vote in favor of such change of control transaction or similar transaction, and we have the right to require each stockholder party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement to vote for, consent to and raise no objection to any such transaction.
Subject to the fiduciary duties of our board of directors, we have agreed that we will not agree to consummate a change of control transaction with respect to which the stockholders party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement are not given the right to participate on the same terms, conditions and price per share of common stock as those applicable to the other holders of our common stock.
Each stockholder party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement has the right to purchase such stockholder's pro rata share of any new shares of common stock, or any other equity securities, that we may propose to sell and issue on comparable terms by making an election within the time periods specified in the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement, subject to certain excluded securities issuances described in the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement, including shares issued pursuant to equity compensation plans adopted by our board of directors and the issuance of shares of our common stock in a public offering. If not all stockholders elect to purchase their full preemptive allocation of new securities, then we will notify the fully-participating stockholders and offer them the right to purchase the unsubscribed new securities.
Until the date that Mr. Thomas J. Pritzker is no longer our chairman, each stockholder party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement has agreed to vote all of their shares of common stock consistent with the recommendations of a majority of our board of directors with respect to all matters. As of January 31, 2016, the stockholders party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement own in the aggregate 25,112,086 shares of Class B common stock, or approximately 18.5% of the outstanding shares of our common stock and approximately 22.4% of the total voting power of our outstanding common stock.
Access to Information
For so long as GSSHP owns any shares of common stock, we have agreed that GS Capital Partners VI Parallel, L.P. or its representatives may examine our books and records and visit and inspect our facilities and may reasonably request information at reasonable time and intervals concerning the general status of our financial condition and operations. Additionally, on reasonable prior notice, GS Capital Partners VI Parallel, L.P. or its representatives may discuss our business operations, properties and financial and other conditions with our management, independent accountants and investment bankers. In no event shall we be required to provide access to any information that we reasonably believe would constitute attorney/client privileged communications or would violate any securities laws.
Under the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement, each stockholder party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement agreed that, subject to certain limited exceptions, so long as such stockholder owns shares of common stock, neither such stockholder nor any of its related persons will in any manner, directly or indirectly:
effect or seek, offer or propose (whether publicly or otherwise) to effect, or announce any intention to effect or cause or participate in or in any way assist, facilitate or encourage any other person to effect or seek, offer or propose (whether publicly or otherwise) to effect or participate in, (a) any acquisition of any of our or our subsidiaries' securities (or beneficial ownership thereof) (except through the proper exercise of preemptive rights granted under the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement), or rights or options to acquire any of our or our subsidiaries' securities (or beneficial ownership thereof), or any of our or our subsidiaries' or affiliates' assets, indebtedness or businesses, (b) any tender or exchange offer, merger or other business combination involving us or any of our subsidiaries or affiliates or any assets constituting a significant portion of our consolidated assets, (c) any recapitalization, restructuring, liquidation, dissolution or other extraordinary transaction with respect to us or any of our subsidiaries or affiliates, or (d) any "solicitation" of "proxies" (as such terms are used in the proxy rules under the Exchange Act) or written consents with respect to any of our or our affiliates' voting securities. For this purpose, the term "affiliates" means our affiliates primarily engaged in the hospitality, lodging and/or gaming industries;
form, join or in any way participate in a "group" (within the meaning of Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act) with respect to us where such group seeks to acquire any of our equity securities;
otherwise act, alone or in concert with others, to seek representation on or to control or influence our or our subsidiaries' management, board of directors or policies;
take any action which would or would reasonably be expected to force us to make a public announcement regarding any of the types of matters set forth in the first bullet point above;
own more than 12% of the issued and outstanding common stock, unless such ownership arises as a result of any action not taken by or on behalf of such stockholder or a related person of such stockholder; or
request that we or any of our representatives, directly or indirectly, amend or waive any of the foregoing provisions.
Each stockholder party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement has also agreed that, if at any time during the period such stockholder is subject to the foregoing provisions, such stockholder is approached by any third party concerning its participation in any transaction or proposed transaction involving the acquisition of all or any portion of the assets,
indebtedness or securities of, or any business of, ours or any of our subsidiaries, such stockholder will promptly inform us of the nature of such transaction and the parties involved.
The 2007 Stockholders' Agreement terminates (1) with respect to any individual stockholder, on the first date when such stockholder no longer holds any shares of common stock and (2) in its entirety, upon the first to occur of all of our equity securities being owned by a single person or the agreement in writing by us and each stockholder party to the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement.
Our Website and Availability of SEC Reports and Other Information
The Company maintains a website at the following address: www.hyatt.com. The information on the Company’s website is not incorporated by reference in this annual report.
We make available on or through our website certain reports and amendments to those reports that we file with or furnish to the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act. These include our annual reports on Form 10-K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and our current reports on Form 8-K. We make this information available on our website free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file the information with, or furnish it to, the SEC.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
In addition to the other information set forth in this annual report, you should consider carefully the risks and uncertainties described below, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Risks Related to the Hospitality Industry
We are subject to macroeconomic and other factors beyond our control as well as the business, financial, operating and other risks of the hospitality industry, all of which may adversely affect our financial results and growth.
Macroeconomic and other factors beyond our control as well as the business, financial, operating and other risks of the hospitality industry can adversely affect demand for hospitality products and services. This includes demand for rooms at properties that we develop, own, operate, manage, franchise, and license. These factors include:
changes and volatility in general economic conditions, including the severity and duration of any downturn in the U.S., Europe or global economy and financial markets;
war, civil unrest, terrorist activities or threats and heightened travel security measures instituted in response to these events;
fear of outbreaks or outbreaks of pandemic or contagious diseases;
climate change and resource scarcity, such as water and energy scarcity;
natural or man-made disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, hurricanes, floods, oil spills and nuclear incidents;
changes in the desirability of particular locations or travel patterns of customers;
decreased corporate budgets and spending and cancellations, deferrals or renegotiations of group business;
low consumer confidence, high levels of unemployment and depressed housing prices;
the financial condition of the airline, automotive and other transportation-related industries and its impact on travel;
decreased airline capacities and routes;
oil prices and travel costs;
statements, actions or interventions by governmental officials related to travel and corporate travel-related activities, and the resulting negative public perception of such travel and activities;
domestic and international political and geo-political conditions;
changes in taxes and governmental regulations that influence or set wages, prices, interest rates or construction and maintenance procedures and costs;
the costs and administrative burdens associated with compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
changes in operating costs, including, but not limited to, labor (including minimum wage increases), energy, food, workers' compensation, benefits, insurance and unanticipated costs resulting from force majeure events;
significant increases in cost for healthcare coverage for employees and potential government regulation with respect to health coverage;
the lack of availability, or increase in the cost, of capital for us or our existing and potential owners;
the attractiveness of our properties to consumers and potential owners and competition from other hotels and alternative lodging marketplaces, including online accommodation search and/or reservation services;
cyclical over-building in the hotel, all inclusive and vacation ownership industries; and
organized labor activities, which could cause a diversion of business from hotels involved in labor negotiations and loss of group business for our hotels generally as a result of certain labor tactics.
These factors, and the reputational repercussions of these factors, can adversely affect, and from time to time have adversely affected, individual properties, particular regions or our business as a whole. How we manage any one or more of these factors, or any crisis, could limit or reduce demand, or the rates our properties are able to charge for rooms or services,
which could adversely affect our financial results and growth. These factors can also increase our costs or affect our ability to develop new properties or maintain and operate our existing properties.
The hospitality industry is cyclical and a worsening of global economic conditions or low levels of economic growth could adversely affect our revenues and profitability as well as cause a decline in or limitation of our future growth.
Consumer demand for our products and services is closely linked to the performance of the general economy and is sensitive to business and personal discretionary spending levels. Declines in consumer demand due to adverse general economic conditions, risks affecting or reducing travel patterns, lower consumer confidence and high unemployment or adverse political conditions can lower the revenues and profitability of our owned properties and the amount of management and franchise fee revenues we are able to generate from our managed and franchised properties. In addition, expenses associated with managing, franchising, licensing, or owning hotels and residential and vacation ownership properties are relatively fixed. These costs include personnel costs, interest, rent, property taxes, insurance and utilities, all of which may increase at a greater rate than our revenues and/or may not be able to be reduced at the same rate as declining revenues. Where cost-cutting efforts are insufficient to offset declines in revenues, we could experience a material decline in margins and reduced or negative cash flows. If we are unable to decrease costs significantly or rapidly when demand for our hotels and other properties decreases, the decline in our revenues could have a particularly adverse impact on our net cash flows and profits. This effect can be especially pronounced during periods of economic contraction or slow economic growth. Economic downturns generally affect the results derived from owned properties more significantly than those derived from managed and franchised properties given the greater exposure that owners have to the properties' performance. Our proportion of owned and leased properties, compared to the number of properties that we manage or franchise for third-party owners, is larger than that of some of our competitors and, as a result, an economic downturn could have a greater adverse effect on our results of operations. The vacation ownership business is also linked to cycles in the general economy and consumer discretionary spending. As a result, changes in consumer demand and general business cycles can subject and have subjected our revenues, earnings and results of operations to significant volatility.
Uncertainty regarding the future rate and pace of economic growth in different regions of the world makes it difficult to predict future profitability levels. Additionally, if economic weakness were to affect any particular regions of the world, it could have an adverse impact on our revenues and negatively affect our profitability.
Because we derive a portion of our revenues from operations outside the United States, the risks of doing business internationally could lower our revenues, increase our costs, reduce our profits or disrupt our business.
We currently manage, franchise or own hotels and resorts in 52 countries around the world. Our operations outside the United States represented approximately 19% of our revenues for the year ended December 31, 2015. We expect that revenues from our international operations may account for an increasing portion of our total revenues in the future.
As a result, we are subject to the risks of doing business outside the United States, including:
the laws, regulations and policies (including taxation policies) of foreign governments relating to investments and operations, the costs or desirability of complying with local practices and customs, and the impact of various anti-corruption and other laws affecting the activities of U.S. companies abroad;
currency exchange rate fluctuations or currency restructurings;
limitations/penalties on the repatriation of non-U.S. earnings;
import and export licensing requirements and regulations, as well as unforeseen changes in regulatory requirements, including imposition of tariffs or embargoes, export regulations and controls and other trade restrictions;
political and economic instability;
the difficulty of managing an organization doing business in many jurisdictions;
uncertainties as to local laws and enforcement of contract and intellectual property rights and occasional requirements for onerous contract clauses; and
rapid changes in government, economic and political policies, political or civil unrest, acts of terrorism or the threat of international boycotts or U.S. anti-boycott legislation.
While these factors and the impact of these factors are difficult to predict, any one or more of them could lower our revenues, increase our costs, reduce our profits or disrupt our business. In addition, conducting business in currencies other than U.S. dollars subjects us to fluctuations in currency exchange rates, currency devaluations or restructurings that could have
a negative impact on our financial results. Our exposure to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations or currency restructurings will continue to grow if the relative contribution of our operations outside the United States increases.
We occasionally enter into foreign exchange hedging agreements with financial institutions to reduce certain of our exposures to fluctuations in currency exchange rates. However, these hedging agreements may not eliminate foreign currency risk entirely and involve costs and risks of their own, such as ongoing management time and expertise and external costs related to executing hedging agreements.
Risks Related to Our Business
Because we operate in a highly competitive industry, our revenues, profits or market share could be harmed if we are unable to compete effectively, and new distribution channels, alternatives to traditional hotels and industry consolidation among our competitors may negatively impact our business.
The segments of the hospitality industry in which we operate are subject to intense competition. Our principal competitors are other operators of full service and select service properties, including other major hospitality chains with well-established and recognized brands. Some of these major hospitality chains are larger than we are based on the number of properties or rooms they manage, franchise or own or based on the number of geographic locations in which they operate. Some of our competitors also have significantly more members participating in their guest loyalty programs which may enable them to attract more customers and more effectively retain such guests. Our competitors may also have greater financial and marketing resources than we do, which could allow them to improve their properties and expand and improve their marketing efforts in ways that could adversely affect our ability to compete for guests effectively. In addition to these competitors, we also compete against smaller hotel chains and independent and local hotel owners and operators.
Increasingly, we also face competition from new channels of distribution in the travel industry. Additional sources of competition include large companies that offer online travel services as part of their business model, such as Alibaba, search engines such as Google, and peer-to-peer inventory sources that allow travelers to book stays on websites that facilitate the short-term rental of homes and apartments from owners, thereby providing an alternative to hotel rooms, such as Airbnb and HomeAway.
The hospitality industry has experienced and is continuing to experience significant consolidation and we expect this trend to continue as companies attempt to strengthen or hold their market positions in a highly competitive and evolving industry. Consolidation by our competitors will give them increased scale and may enhance their capacity, abilities and resources and lower their cost structure, causing us to be at a competitive disadvantage. If we lose market share or are not able to successfully attract third-party hotel owners to our brands as a result of this consolidation, our results of operations, cash flow, business and overall financial condition could be materially adversely affected.
If the volume of sales made through third-party internet travel intermediaries increases significantly, consumer loyalty to our brand could decrease and our revenues could fall.
We expect to derive most of our business from traditional channels of distribution and our website. However, consumers are increasingly using internet travel intermediaries to book travel. Some of these intermediaries are attempting to increase the importance of generic quality indicators (such as "four-star downtown hotel") at the expense of brand identification. These intermediaries hope that consumers will eventually develop brand loyalties to their reservation system rather than to our brands. Some of these intermediaries have launched their own loyalty programs to further develop loyalties to their reservation system. If the volume of sales made through internet travel intermediaries increases significantly and consumers develop stronger loyalties to these intermediaries rather than to our brands, our distribution costs could increase significantly and our business and revenues could be harmed.
If we are unable to establish and maintain key distribution arrangements for our properties, the demand for our rooms and our revenues could fall.
Increasingly, the rooms at hotels and resorts that we manage, franchise or own are booked through third-party internet travel intermediaries and online travel service providers. We also engage third-party intermediaries, including travel agencies and meeting and event management companies, who collect fees by charging our hotels and resorts a commission on room revenues. A failure by our distributors to attract or retain their customer bases could lower demand for hotel rooms and, in turn, reduce our revenues.
If bookings by these third-party intermediaries increase, these intermediaries typically obtain higher commissions or other potentially significant contract concessions, increasing the overall cost of these third-party distribution channels. Some of our distribution agreements are not exclusive, have a short term, are terminable at will or are subject to early termination
provisions. The loss of distributors, increased distribution costs, or the renewal of distribution agreements on less favorable terms could adversely impact our business.
Competition for Guests
We compete for guests at our hotels and our all inclusive resorts based primarily on brand name recognition and reputation, location, customer satisfaction, room rates, quality of service, amenities, quality of accommodations, security and the ability to earn and redeem loyalty program points. In addition to competing with other hotel and resort properties, Hyatt-branded vacation ownership properties compete with national and independent vacation ownership club operators as well as with owners reselling their interests in these properties.
Competition for Management and Franchise Agreements
We compete for management agreements based primarily on the value and quality of our management services, our brand name recognition and reputation, our ability and willingness to invest our capital in third-party owned or hospitality venture projects, the level of our management fees, the terms of our management agreements (including compared to the terms our competitors offer), and the economic advantages to the property owner of retaining our management services and using our brand name. We compete for franchise agreements based primarily on brand name recognition and reputation, the room rate that can be realized and royalty fees charged. Other competitive factors for management and franchise agreements are relationships with property owners and investors, availability and affordability of financing, marketing support, reservation and e-commerce system capacity and efficiency, limitations on the expansion of one or more of our brands in certain geographic areas due to restrictions previously agreed to in order to secure management and franchise opportunities, and the ability to make investments that may be necessary to obtain management and franchise agreements.
Competition for Sales of Hyatt-Branded Vacation Ownership Properties
Under a master license agreement with us, ILG is the exclusive worldwide developer, marketer, seller, and manager of vacation ownership and related products under the Hyatt brand. We receive license fees under the licensing agreement with ILG, including fees based on sales of vacation ownership units. ILG competes for sales of Hyatt-branded vacation ownership properties based principally on location, quality of accommodations, price, financing terms, quality of service, terms of property use, opportunity to exchange for time at other vacation properties and brand name recognition and reputation. In addition to competing with other hotel and resort properties, Hyatt-branded vacation ownership properties compete with national and independent vacation ownership club operators as well as with owners reselling their interests in these properties, which could reduce demand or prices for new vacation ownership properties. ILG’s ability to attract and retain qualified purchasers of Hyatt-branded vacation ownership properties depends on ILG’s success in distinguishing the quality and value of Hyatt-branded vacation ownership products and services from those offered by others. If ILG is unable to do so, ILG’s ability to compete effectively for sales of vacation ownership properties could be adversely affected and our licensing fees could be adversely impacted.
Vacation ownership license agreement with ILG
With the sale of our vacation ownership business, we no longer develop, operate or manage the vacation ownership resorts. Hyatt is also no longer involved in the sale and marketing of vacation ownership interests. ILG or approved third parties conduct these activities using the Hyatt brand. Affiliates of ILG or approved third parties are required to conduct these activities pursuant to operational and performance requirements set forth in the license agreement, but we are exposed to the risks of ILG defaulting under the license agreement. If we are unable to maintain a good relationship with ILG and/or the licensing agreement with ILG terminates due to a default by ILG, our revenues could decrease and we may be unable to maintain or expand our presence in the vacation ownership segment. Contractual and other disagreements with ILG could expose us to liability or result in litigation costs or other expenses, which could lower our profits.
Adverse incidents at or adverse publicity concerning our properties or our corporate responsibilities could harm our brands and reputation as well as reduce our revenues and lower our profits.
Our brands and our reputation are among our most important assets. Our ability to attract and retain guests depends, in part, upon the external perceptions of Hyatt, the quality of our hotels and services and our corporate and management integrity. An incident involving the potential safety or security of our colleagues or our guests, or adverse publicity regarding safety or security at our competitors' properties or in respect of our third-party vendors or owners and the industry, and any media coverage resulting therefrom, may harm our brands and reputation, cause a loss of consumer confidence in Hyatt and the industry, and negatively impact our results of operations. Additionally, our reputation could be harmed if we fail to act responsibly or are perceived as not acting responsibly or fail to or are perceived to not comply with regulatory requirements in a number of areas such as safety and security, data security, sustainability, responsible tourism, environmental management, human rights and support for local communities. The continued expansion in the use of social media over recent years has compounded the potential scope of the negative publicity that could be generated and could increase our costs, lead to litigation or result in negative publicity that could damage our reputation. Adverse incidents have occurred in the past and may occur in the future.
If we are unable to maintain good relationships with third-party property owners and franchisees and/or if we terminate agreements with defaulting third-party property owners and franchisees, our revenues could decrease and we may be unable to maintain or expand our presence.
We earn fees for managing and franchising hotels and other properties. The viability of our management and franchising business depends on our ability to establish and maintain good relationships with third-party property owners and franchisees. Third-party developers, property owners and franchisees are focused on maximizing the value of their investment and working with a management company or franchisor that can help them be successful. The effectiveness of our management, the value of our brands and the rapport that we maintain with our third-party property owners and franchisees impact renewals of existing agreements and are also important factors for existing or new third-party property owners or franchisees considering doing business with us. Our relationships with these third parties generate additional property development opportunities that support our growth. In addition, if third-party property owners or franchisees breach the terms of our agreements with them, we may elect to exercise our termination rights, which would eliminate our revenues from these properties and cause us to incur expenses related to terminating these relationships. These risks become more pronounced during economic downturns.
Contractual and other disagreements with third-party property owners or franchisees could make us liable to them or result in litigation costs or other expenses, which could lower our profits.
Our management and franchise agreements require us and third-party property owners or franchisees to comply with operational and performance conditions that are subject to interpretation and could result in disagreements. Additionally, some courts have applied principles of agency law and related fiduciary standards to managers of third-party hotel properties like us, which means, among other things, that property owners may assert the right to terminate management agreements even where the agreements do not expressly provide for termination. In the event of any such termination, we may need to negotiate or enforce our right to damages that may not equal expected profitability over the term of the agreement.
We generally seek to resolve any disagreements with our third-party property owners or franchisees amicably. Formal dispute resolution occurs through arbitration, if provided under the applicable management or franchise agreement, or through litigation. We cannot predict the outcome of any such arbitration or litigation, the effect of any adverse judgment of a court or arbitrator against us or the amount of any settlement that we may enter into with any third party.
If our management or franchise agreements terminate prematurely or we elect to make cure payments due to failures to meet performance tests, at the request of third parties or upon the occurrence of other stated events, our revenues could decrease and our costs could increase.
Our management and franchise agreements may terminate prematurely in certain cases. Some of our management agreements provide early termination rights to owners of the hotels we manage upon the occurrence of a stated event, such as the sale of the hotel or our failure to meet a specified performance test.
Generally, termination rights under performance tests are based upon the property's individual performance, its performance when compared to a specified set of competitive hotels branded by other hotel operators, or both. Some agreements require a failure of one test, and other agreements require a failure of more than one test, before termination rights are triggered. These termination rights are usually triggered if we do not meet the performance tests over multiple years. Generally, we have the option to cure performance failures by making an agreed upon cure payment. However, our cure rights may be limited in some cases and the failure to meet the performance tests may result in the termination of our management agreement. In the past we have (1) failed performance tests, received notices of termination and elected to make cure payments
and (2) failed performance tests and negotiated an alternative resolution. When any termination notice is received, we evaluate all relevant facts and circumstances at the time in deciding whether to cure. See Part IV, Item 15, "Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedule—Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements" for more information related to performance test payments. In addition, some of our management agreements give third-party property owners the right to terminate upon payment of a termination fee to us after a certain period of time or upon sale of the property or another stated event. Our franchise agreements typically require franchisees to pay a fee to us before terminating. In addition, if an owner files for bankruptcy, our management and franchise agreements may be terminable under applicable law. If a management or franchise agreement terminates, we could lose the revenues we derive from that agreement or incur costs related to ending our relationship with the third party and exiting the property.
Certain of our contractual arrangements with third-party owners require us to guarantee payments to the owners if specified levels of operating profit are not achieved by their hotels.
The terms of certain guarantees to hotel owners may require us to fund shortfalls if the hotels do not attain specified levels of operating profit. This guaranteed funding to hotel owners may not be recoverable to us and could lower our profits and reduce our cash flows. As an example, in 2013, we entered into management agreements for four hotels in France and a related performance guarantee for the first seven years of the management agreements. At inception, the performance guarantee stipulated a maximum performance guarantee commitment of €377 million, which is reduced by annual payments made under the guarantee. While neither payments to date nor expected payments under this or other guarantees have been or are expected to be significant to our liquidity, future payments under these performance guarantees may adversely affect our financial performance and results of operations.
We are exposed to the risks resulting from significant investments in owned and leased real estate, which could increase our costs, reduce our profits, limit our ability to respond to market conditions or restrict our growth strategy.
Our proportion of owned and leased properties, compared to the number of properties that we manage or franchise for third-party owners, is larger than that of some of our competitors. Real estate ownership and leasing is subject to risks not applicable to managed or franchised properties which could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flow, business and overall financial condition, including:
governmental regulations relating to real estate ownership;
real estate, insurance, zoning, tax, environmental and eminent domain laws;
the ongoing need for owner funded capital improvements and expenditures to maintain or upgrade properties;
risks associated with mortgage debt, including the possibility of default, fluctuating interest rate levels and the availability of replacement financing;
risks associated with the possibility that cost increases will outpace revenue increases and that in the event of an economic slowdown, the high proportion of fixed costs will make it difficult to reduce costs to the extent required to offset declining revenues;
fluctuations in real estate values or potential impairments in the value of our assets; and
the relative illiquidity of real estate compared to some other assets.
Cyber risk and the failure to maintain the integrity of customer, colleague or company data could result in faulty business decisions, harm to our reputation and result in a loss of business and/or subject us to costs, fines, investigations, enforcement actions or lawsuits.
We are required to collect, use, and retain large volumes of customer data, including credit card numbers and other personally identifiable information for business, marketing, and other purposes, and our various information technology systems enter, process, summarize and report such data. We also maintain personally identifiable information about our colleagues. We store and process such customer, colleague and company data both at onsite facilities and at third-party owned facilities including, for example, in a third-party hosted cloud environment. The integrity and protection of customer, colleague and company data, as well as the continuous operation of our systems, is critical to our business. Our customers and colleagues expect that we will adequately protect their personal information. The regulations and contractual obligations applicable to security and privacy are increasingly demanding, both in the United States and in other jurisdictions where we operate, and cyber-criminals have been recently targeting the hospitality industry. As previously announced, our payment card system has been subject to a cyber attack. In late November 2015, we self-detected malware that targeted payment card data on a device in our network. We immediately launched an investigation and engaged leading third-party cyber security experts. The investigation identified signs of unauthorized access to payment card data from cards used onsite at certain Hyatt managed locations, primarily at restaurants, between August 13, 2015 and December 8, 2015. A small percentage of the at-risk cards
were used at spas, golf shops, parking, and a limited number of front desks, or provided to a sales office during this time period. The at-risk window for a limited number of locations began on or shortly after July 30, 2015. We may be subjected to future cyber threats including attempts to breach our systems and other similar incidents. We continue to develop and enhance controls and security measures to protect against the risk of theft, loss or fraudulent or unlawful use of customer, colleague or company data, and we maintain an ongoing process to re-evaluate the adequacy of our controls and measures. Notwithstanding our efforts, because of the scope and complexity of our information technology structure, our reliance on third parties to support and protect our structure and data, and the constantly evolving cyber-threat landscape, our systems may be vulnerable to disruptions, failures, unauthorized access, cyber-terrorism, employee error, negligence, fraud or other misuse. These or similar occurrences, whether accidental or intentional, could result in theft, unauthorized access or disclosure, loss, fraudulent or unlawful use of customer, colleague or company data which could harm our reputation or result in a loss of business, as well as remedial and other costs, fines, investigations, enforcement actions, or lawsuits. We maintain what we believe to be adequate and collectible insurance in the event of the theft, loss, fraudulent or unlawful use of customer, colleague or company data, but the foregoing occurrences or future occurrences could result in costs which may not be covered or may be in excess of any available insurance that we may have procured. As a result, future incidents could have a material impact on our business and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Economic and other conditions may adversely impact the valuation of our assets resulting in impairment charges that could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and earnings.
We hold significant amounts of goodwill, intangible assets, property and equipment and investments. On a regular basis, we evaluate our assets for impairment based on various triggers, including actual operating losses and trends of projected revenues and profitability, as described in Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates." During times of economic distress, declining demand and declining earnings often result in declining asset values. As a result, we have incurred and we may in the future incur impairment charges, which could be material and may adversely affect our results of operations.
We have a limited ability to manage third-party risks associated with our hospitality venture investments, which could reduce our revenues, increase our costs, lower our profits and increase our liabilities.
We participate in numerous hospitality ventures with third parties. In the future, we may also buy and develop properties in hospitality ventures with the sellers of the properties, affiliates of the sellers, developers or other third parties. Our hospitality venture partners may have shared or majority control over the operations of our hospitality ventures. As a result, our investments in hospitality ventures involve risks that are different from the risks involved in investing in real estate independently. These risks include the possibility that our hospitality ventures or our partners:
go bankrupt or otherwise are unable to meet their capital contribution obligations;
have economic or business interests or goals that are or become inconsistent with our business interests or goals;
are in a position to take action contrary to our instructions, our requests, our policies, our objectives or applicable laws;
subject the property to liabilities exceeding those contemplated;
take actions that reduce our return on investment; or
take actions that harm our reputation or restrict our ability to run our business.
For these and other reasons, it could be more difficult for us to sell our interest in any hospitality venture or to pursue the venture's activities, which could reduce our ability to address any problems we may have with those properties or respond to market conditions in the future and could lead to impairments of such investments. As a result, our investments in hospitality ventures could lead to impasses with our partners or situations that could harm the hospitality venture, which could reduce our revenues, increase our costs and lower our profits.
In addition, in conjunction with financing obtained for our unconsolidated hospitality ventures, we may provide standard indemnifications to lenders for loss, liability or damage occurring as a result of our actions or actions of the other hospitality venture owners.
If our hospitality ventures fail to provide accurate and/or timely information that is required to be included in our financial statements, we may be unable to accurately report our financial results.
Preparing our financial statements requires us to have access to information regarding the results of operations, financial position and cash flows of our hospitality ventures. Any deficiencies in our hospitality ventures' internal controls over financial reporting may affect our ability to report our financial results accurately or prevent fraud. Such deficiencies could also result in restatements of, or other adjustments to, our previously reported or announced operating results, which could diminish investor confidence and reduce the market price for our shares. Additionally, if our hospitality ventures are unable to provide this information for any meaningful period or fail to meet expected deadlines, we may be unable to satisfy our financial reporting obligations or file our periodic reports in a timely manner.
Cash distributions from our hospitality ventures could be limited by factors outside our control that could reduce our return on investment and our ability to generate liquidity from these hospitality ventures.
Although our hospitality ventures may generate positive cash flow, in some cases these hospitality ventures may be unable to distribute that cash to the hospitality venture partners. Additionally, in some cases our hospitality venture partners control distributions, and may choose to leave capital in the hospitality venture rather than distribute it. Because our ability to generate liquidity from our hospitality ventures depends on the hospitality ventures' ability to distribute capital to us, tax considerations or decisions of our hospitality venture partners could reduce our return on these investments. We include our pro rata share of Adjusted EBITDA attributable to our unconsolidated hospitality ventures in our owned and leased hotels segment Adjusted EBITDA and our consolidated Adjusted EBITDA regardless of whether the cash flow of those ventures is, or can be, distributed to us.
We may seek to expand through acquisitions of and investments in other businesses and properties, or through alliances, and we may also seek to divest some of our properties and other assets; these acquisition and disposition activities may be unsuccessful or divert our management's attention.
We intend to consider strategic and complementary acquisitions of and investments in other businesses, properties, brands or other assets. We may pursue opportunities in alliance with existing or prospective owners of managed or franchised properties. In many cases, we will be competing for these opportunities with third parties that may have substantially greater financial resources than we do. Acquisitions or investments in hospitality companies, businesses, properties, brands or assets, as well as these alliances, are subject to risks that could affect our business, including risks related to:
issuing shares of stock that could dilute the interests of our existing stockholders;
spending cash and incurring debt;
assuming contingent liabilities;
contributing properties or related assets to hospitality ventures that could result in recognition of losses; or
creating additional expenses.
We cannot assure you that we will be able to identify opportunities or complete transactions on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or that we will actually realize any anticipated benefits from such acquisitions, investments or alliances. There may be high barriers to entry in many key markets and scarcity of available development and investment opportunities in desirable locations. Similarly, we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain financing for acquisitions or investments on attractive terms or at all, or that the ability to obtain financing will not be restricted by the terms of our revolving credit facility or other indebtedness we may incur.
The success of any such acquisitions or investments will also depend, in part, on our ability to integrate the acquisition or investment with our existing operations. We may experience difficulty with integrating acquired businesses, properties or other assets, including difficulties relating to:
coordinating sales, distribution and marketing functions;
integrating technology information systems; and
preserving the important licensing, distribution, marketing, customer, labor and other relationships of the acquired assets.
Additionally, we regularly review our business to identify properties or other assets that we believe are in markets or of a property type that may not benefit us as much as other markets or property types. One of our strategies is to selectively dispose of hotel properties and use sale proceeds to fund our growth in markets and with properties that will enhance and expand our brand presence. For example during 2014, we sold 52 select service hotels, 4 full service hotels and the Hyatt Residential Group, which included one full service hotel. We cannot assure you that we will be able to consummate any such sales on
commercially reasonable terms or at all, or that we will actually realize any anticipated benefits from such sales. Dispositions of real estate assets can be particularly difficult in a challenging economic environment, as financing alternatives are often limited for potential buyers. Our inability to sell assets, or to sell such assets at attractive prices, could have an adverse impact on our ability to realize proceeds for reinvestment and hinder our ability to expand our business. In addition, even if we are successful in consummating sales of selected properties, such dispositions may result in losses.
Any such acquisitions, investments, dispositions or alliances could also demand significant attention from our management that would otherwise be available for our regular business operations, which could harm our business.
Timing, budgeting and other risks could result in delays or cancellations of our efforts to develop, redevelop or renovate the properties that we own, or make these activities more expensive, which could reduce our profits or impair our ability to compete effectively.
We must maintain and renovate the properties that we own in order to remain competitive, maintain the value and brand standards of our properties and comply with applicable laws and regulations. We also selectively undertake ground-up construction of properties. Often these projects include hospitality venture partners. These efforts are subject to a number of risks, including:
construction delays or cost overruns (including labor and materials) that may increase project costs;
obtaining zoning, occupancy and other required permits or authorizations;
changes in economic conditions that may result in weakened or lack of demand or negative project returns;
governmental restrictions on the size or kind of development;
force majeure events, including earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, floods or tsunamis; and
design defects that could increase costs.
Additionally, developing new properties typically involves lengthy development periods during which significant amounts of capital must be funded before the properties begin to operate and generate revenue. If the cost of funding new development exceeds budgeted amounts, and/or the time period for development is longer than initially anticipated, our profits could be reduced. Further, due to the lengthy development cycle, intervening adverse economic conditions may alter or impede our development plans, thereby resulting in incremental costs to us or potential impairment charges. Moreover, during the early stages of operations, charges related to interest expense and depreciation may substantially detract from, or even outweigh, the profitability of certain new property investments.
Similarly, the cost of funding renovations and capital improvements may exceed budgeted amounts. Additionally, the timing of renovations and capital improvements can affect, and historically has affected, property performance, including occupancy and average daily rate, particularly if we need to close a significant number of rooms or other facilities, such as ballrooms, meeting spaces or restaurants. Moreover, the investments that we make may fail to improve the performance of the properties in the manner that we expect.
Some of our existing development pipeline may not be developed into new hotels, which could materially adversely affect our growth prospects.
As of December 31, 2015, our executed contract base consisted of approximately 260 hotels, or approximately 56,000 rooms. The commitments of owners and developers with whom we have agreements are subject to numerous conditions, and the eventual development and construction of our pipeline not currently under construction is subject to numerous risks, including, in certain cases, obtaining governmental and regulatory approvals and adequate financing. As a result, we cannot assure you that our entire development pipeline will be completed and developed into new hotels.
If our third-party property owners, including our hospitality venture partners, are unable to repay or refinance loans secured by the mortgaged properties, our revenues, profits and capital resources could be reduced and our business could be harmed.
Many of the properties that our third-party property owners and our hospitality venture partners own are pledged as collateral for mortgage loans entered into when such properties were purchased or refinanced. If our third-party property owners or our hospitality venture partners are unable to repay or refinance maturing indebtedness on favorable terms or at all, the lenders could declare a default, accelerate the related debt and repossess the property. Any sales or repossessions could, in certain cases, result in the termination of our management agreements and eliminate anticipated income and cash flows, which could negatively affect our results of operations.
If we or our third-party owners, franchisees or development partners are unable to access the capital necessary to fund current operations or implement our plans for growth, our profits could be reduced and our ability to compete effectively could be diminished.
The hospitality industry is a capital intensive business that requires significant capital expenditures to develop, operate, maintain and renovate properties. Access to the capital that we or our third-party owners, franchisees or development partners need to finance the construction of new properties or to maintain and renovate existing properties is critical to the continued growth of our business and our revenues.
The availability of capital or the conditions under which we or our third-party owners, franchisees or development partners can obtain capital can have a significant impact on the overall level, cost and pace of future development and therefore the ability to grow our revenues. The most recent economic downturn caused credit markets to experience significant disruption severely reducing liquidity and credit availability. Such disruptions may diminish the ability and desire of existing and potential development partners to access capital necessary to develop properties. Our ability to access additional capital could also be limited by the terms of our revolving credit facility, which restricts our ability to incur debt under certain circumstances. Additionally, if one or more of the financial institutions that support our revolving credit facility fails, we may not be able to find a replacement, which would reduce the availability of funds that we can borrow under the facility.
If we are forced to spend larger amounts of cash from operating activities than anticipated to operate, maintain or renovate existing properties, then our ability to use cash for other purposes, including acquisition or development of other businesses, properties, brands or other assets could be limited and our profits could be reduced. Similarly, if we cannot access the capital we need to fund our operations or implement our growth strategy, we may need to postpone or cancel planned renovations or developments, which could impair our ability to compete effectively and harm our business.
If we become liable for losses related to loans we have provided or guaranteed to third parties, our profits could be reduced.
At times, we make loans for hotel development expenditures when we enter into management or franchise agreements with third parties, including hospitality ventures. In certain circumstances we may also provide senior secured financing or subordinated forms of financing (also referred to as mezzanine financing) to third-party owners. We could suffer losses if third-party property owners or franchisees default on loans that we provide. Additionally, we may provide third-party lenders financial guarantees related to the timely repayment of all or a portion of the associated debt of certain of our hospitality ventures and managed hotels. The guarantees may be for the full amount of the debt or may be limited to a portion of the debt. We typically obtain reimbursement agreements from our partner(s) or other third parties with the intent to limit our exposure to our share of the debt. See Part IV, Item 15, "Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedule—Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements" for more information related to our loans and other financing arrangements and "Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedule—Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements" for more information related to our guarantees.
Our debt service obligations may adversely affect our cash flow and reduce our operational flexibility.
The terms of the indenture governing our Senior Notes (as defined in Part IV, Item 15, "Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedule—Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements") and those of our revolving credit facility subject us to the following:
a risk that cash flow from operations will be insufficient to meet required payments of principal and interest;
restrictive covenants, including covenants related to certain financial ratios. See Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources" for further information related to restrictions under our financial covenants; and
the risk that any increase in the interest rate applicable to any borrowings under our revolving credit facility could reduce our cash flows available for other corporate purposes, including investments in our portfolio, could limit our ability to refinance existing debt when it matures or could increase interest costs on any debt that is refinanced.
Although we anticipate that we will be able to repay or refinance our existing indebtedness when it matures, there can be no assurance that we will be able to do so, or that the terms of such refinancing will be favorable.
A substantial decrease in operating cash flow, consolidated EBITDA (as defined in our revolving credit facility) or a substantial increase in our expenses may make it difficult for us to meet our existing debt service requirements and restrictive covenants. As a result, we could be forced to sell assets and/or modify our operations. Our existing leverage may also impair our ability to obtain additional financing for acquisitions, working capital, capital expenditures or other purposes, if necessary, or require us to accept terms otherwise unfavorable to us.
Rating agency downgrades may increase our cost of capital.
The interest rate on borrowings and the facility fee under our revolving credit facility are determined by a pricing grid, which is dependent in part on our credit ratings by Standard & Poor's Financial Services, LLC, a subsidiary of McGraw Hill Financial, Inc. ("S&P"), and Moody's Investors Service, Inc. ("Moody's"). Lower ratings result in a higher cost of funds. Therefore, subject to any adjustments to the interest rate based on our leverage ratio, if these independent rating agencies were to downgrade our credit ratings or if we no longer have a credit rating from either agency, the cost of our borrowing and the amount of the facility fee under our revolving credit facility will increase as specified in the pricing grid. Additionally, any future downgrade of our credit ratings by the rating agencies could reduce or limit our access to capital and increase our cost of capital.
If we or our third-party owners are not able to maintain our current brand standards or develop new initiatives, including new brands, successfully, our business and profitability could be harmed.
We manage and franchise properties owned by third parties under the terms of management and franchise agreements. Substantially all of these agreements require third-party property owners to comply with standards that are essential to maintaining our brand integrity and reputation. We depend on third-party property owners to comply with these requirements by maintaining and improving properties through investments, including investments in furniture, fixtures, amenities and personnel. If our third-party property owners or franchisees fail to make investments necessary to maintain or improve the properties we manage or franchise, our brand preference and reputation could suffer. Moreover, third-party owners or franchisees may be unwilling or unable to incur the cost of complying with brand standards for new and existing brands as such brands may evolve from time to time. As a result, we may be forced to absorb such costs to ensure that brand standards come to market in a timely fashion.
In addition, we are continually developing and launching new initiatives, including new brands or marketing programs, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process. We have invested capital and resources in owned real estate, property development, brand development and brand promotion. If such initiatives are not well received by our colleagues, guests and owners, they may not have the intended effect. We may not be able to recover the costs incurred in developing and launching new brands or other initiatives or to realize their intended or projected benefits, which could lower our profits.
Labor shortages could restrict our ability to operate our properties or grow our business or result in increased labor costs that could reduce our profits.
Our success depends in large part on our ability to attract, retain, train, manage and engage our colleagues. Our properties are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by thousands of colleagues around the world. If we and our franchisees are unable to attract, retain, train and engage skilled colleagues, our ability to manage and staff our properties adequately could be impaired, which could reduce customer satisfaction. Staffing shortages could also hinder our ability to grow and expand our business. Because payroll costs are a major component of the operating expenses at our properties, a shortage of skilled labor could also require higher wages that would increase our labor costs, which could reduce our profits and the profits of our third-party owners.
Negotiations of collective bargaining agreements, attempts by labor organizations to organize additional groups of our colleagues or changes in labor laws could disrupt our operations, increase our labor costs or interfere with the ability of our management to focus on executing our business strategies.
Certain of our properties are subject to collective bargaining agreements, similar agreements or regulations enforced by governmental authorities. If relationships with our colleagues, other field personnel or the unions that represent them become adverse, the properties we manage, franchise or own could experience labor disruptions such as strikes, lockouts and public demonstrations. Labor disruptions, which are generally more likely when collective bargaining agreements are being renegotiated, could harm our relationship with our colleagues or cause us to lose guests. Further, adverse publicity in the marketplace related to union messaging could further harm our reputation and reduce customer demand for our services. Labor regulation, including minimum wage legislation, could lead to higher wage and benefit costs, changes in work rules that raise operating expenses, legal costs, and limitations on our ability or the ability of our third-party property owners and franchisees to take cost saving measures during economic downturns. We do not have the ability to control the negotiations of collective bargaining agreements covering unionized labor employed by third-party property owners and franchisees.
We and our third-party property owners and franchisees may also become subject to additional collective bargaining agreements in the future. Potential changes in the federal regulatory scheme could make it easier for unions to organize groups of our colleagues. If such changes take effect, more of our colleagues or other field personnel could be subject to increased organizational efforts, which could potentially lead to disruptions or require more of our management's time to address unionization issues. These or similar agreements, legislation or changes in regulations could disrupt our operations, hinder our
ability to cross-train and cross-promote our colleagues due to prescribed work rules and job classifications, reduce our profitability or interfere with the ability of our management to focus on executing our business strategies.
The loss of our senior executives or key field personnel, such as our general managers, could significantly harm our business.
Our ability to maintain our competitive position is dependent to a large degree on the efforts and skills of our senior executives. We have entered into employment letter agreements with certain of our senior executives. However, we cannot guarantee that these individuals will remain with us. Finding suitable replacements for our senior executives could be difficult. We currently do not have a life insurance policy or key person insurance policy with respect to any of our senior executives. Losing the services of one or more of these senior executives could adversely affect our strategic relationships, including relationships with our third-party property owners, franchisees, hospitality venture partners and vendors, and limit our ability to execute our business strategies.
We also rely on the general managers at each of our owned and managed properties to run daily operations and oversee our colleagues. These general managers are trained professionals in the hospitality industry and have extensive experience in many markets worldwide. The failure to retain, train or successfully manage our general managers for our properties could negatively affect our operations.
Our failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations may increase our costs, reduce our profits or limit our growth.
Our business, properties and colleagues are subject to a variety of laws and regulations. Generally, these laws and regulations address our sales and marketing and advertising efforts, our handling of privacy issues and customer data, our anti-corruption efforts, our ability to obtain licenses for business operations such as sales of food and liquor, and matters relating to immigration, the environment, health and safety, health care, gaming, competition and trade, among other things.
Our franchising and licensing businesses and our operations outside the United States are also subject to laws and regulations affecting those businesses.
Our franchising business is subject to various state laws, as well as to regulations enacted by the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"). A number of states require franchisors to register with the state or to make extensive disclosures to potential franchisees in connection with offers and sales in those states. The FTC also regulates the manner and substance of our disclosures to prospective franchisees. In addition, several states have "franchise relationship laws" or "business opportunity laws" that limit the ability of franchisors to terminate franchise agreements or to withhold consent to the renewal or transfer of those agreements.
Our licensed vacation ownership properties are subject to extensive state regulation in both the state in which the property is located and the states in which the property is marketed and sold. Marketing for these properties is also subject to federal regulation of certain marketing practices, including federal telemarketing regulations.
Our business operations in countries outside the United States are subject to a number of U.S. federal laws and regulations, including restrictions imposed by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") as well as trade sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") and the Commerce Department. The FCPA is intended to prohibit bribery of foreign officials or parties and requires public companies in the United States to keep books and records that accurately and fairly reflect those companies' transactions. OFAC and the Commerce Department administer and enforce economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign states, organizations and individuals. Some of our business operations are also subject to the laws and regulations of non-U.S. jurisdictions, including the U.K. Bribery Act and anti-corruption legislation in the countries in which we conduct operations.
If we, or our hospitality ventures, fail to comply with these laws and regulations, we could be exposed to claims for damages, financial penalties, reputational harm, incarceration of our colleagues or restrictions on our operation or ownership of hotels and other properties, including the termination of our management, franchise and ownership rights. These restrictions could increase our costs of operations, reduce our profits or cause us to forgo development opportunities that would otherwise support our growth.
The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 could result in investigations by the U.S. Government against our Company and could harm our reputation and brands.
The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 ("ITRSHR Act") expanded sanctions against Iran and Syria. In addition, the ITRSHR Act instituted disclosure requirements in annual and quarterly reports for public companies engaged in, or affiliated with an entity engaged in, specified activities under the ITRSHR Act. A company subject to Section 219 of the ITRSHR Act must make detailed disclosures about certain activities knowingly conducted by it or any of its affiliates. No activities in 2015 required any disclosure. In the event Hyatt were to engage in certain activities that are subject to disclosure pursuant to Section 219 of the ITRSHR Act and Section 13(r) of the Exchange Act, we would be required to separately file, concurrently with any ITRSHR Act disclosure, a notice that such activities have been disclosed in our quarterly or annual report filings, which notice must also contain the information required by Section 13(r) of the Exchange Act. The SEC is required to post this notice of disclosure on its website and send the report to the President and certain Congressional committees. The President thereafter is required to initiate an investigation and, within 180 days of initiating such an investigation, to determine whether sanctions should be imposed on the Company. Disclosure of such activities, even if they are not subject to sanctions under applicable law, and any sanction actually imposed on us or our affiliates as a result of these activities, could harm our reputation and brands and have a negative impact on our results of operations.
Adverse judgments or settlements resulting from legal proceedings in which we may be involved in the normal course of our business could reduce our profits or limit our ability to operate our business.
In the normal course of our business, we are often involved in various legal proceedings. The outcome of these proceedings cannot be predicted. If any of these proceedings were to be determined adversely to us or a settlement involving a payment of a material sum of money were to occur, there could be a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, we could become the subject of future claims by third parties, including current or former third-party property owners, guests who use our properties, our employees, our investors or regulators. Any significant adverse judgments or settlements would reduce our profits and could limit our ability to operate our business. Further, we may incur costs related to claims for which we have appropriate third-party indemnity if such third parties fail to fulfill their contractual obligations.
The extensive environmental requirements to which we are subject could increase our environmental costs and liabilities, reduce our profits or limit our ability to run our business.
Our operations and the properties we develop, own and manage are subject to extensive environmental laws and regulations of various federal, state, local and foreign governments, including requirements addressing:
the use, management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes;
discharges of waste materials into the environment, such as refuse or sewage; and
We could be subject to liability under some of these laws for the costs of investigating or remediating hazardous substances or wastes on, under, or in real property we currently or formerly manage, own or develop, or third-party sites where we sent hazardous substances or wastes for disposal. We could be held liable under these laws regardless of whether we knew of, or were at fault in connection with, the presence or release of any such hazardous or toxic substances or wastes. Some of these laws make each covered person responsible for all of the costs involved, even if more than one person may have been responsible for the contamination. Furthermore, a person who arranges for hazardous substances or wastes to be transported, disposed of or treated offsite, such as at disposal or treatment facilities, may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation if those substances are released into the environment by third parties at such disposal or treatment facilities. The presence or release of hazardous or toxic substances or wastes, or the failure to properly clean up such materials, could cause us to incur significant costs, or jeopardize our ability to develop, use, sell or rent real property we own or operate or to borrow using such property as collateral.
Other laws and regulations require us to manage, abate or remove materials containing hazardous substances such as mold, lead or asbestos during demolitions, renovations or remodeling at properties that we develop, own or manage or to obtain permits for certain of our equipment or operations. The costs of such management, abatement, removal or permitting could be substantial. Complying with these laws and regulations, or addressing violations arising under them, could increase our environmental costs and liabilities, reduce our profits or limit our ability to run our business. Existing environmental laws and regulations may be revised or new laws and regulations related to global climate change, air quality, or other environmental and health concerns may be adopted or become applicable to us. The identification of new areas of contamination, a change in the
extent or known scope of contamination or changes in cleanup requirements, or the adoption of new requirements governing our operations could have a material adverse effect on our results or operations, financial condition and business.
If the insurance that we, our owners (including hospitality ventures) or our franchisees carry does not sufficiently cover damage or other potential losses or liabilities involving properties that we own, manage or franchise, our profits could be reduced.
We, our owners (including hospitality ventures) and our franchisees carry insurance from solvent insurance carriers that we believe is adequate for foreseeable losses and with terms and conditions that are reasonable and customary. Nevertheless, market forces beyond our control could limit the scope of the insurance coverage that we, our owners (including hospitality ventures) or our franchisees can obtain or restrict our ability, our owners' ability or our franchisees' ability to buy insurance coverage at reasonable rates. In the event of a substantial loss, the insurance coverage that we carry, our owners (including hospitality ventures) carry or our franchisees carry may not be sufficient to pay the full value of our financial obligations, our liabilities or the replacement cost of any lost investment or property loss. In addition, there are other risks that may fall outside of the general coverage limits of our policies, may be uninsurable, or with respect to which the cost of insurance is too expensive to justify. In some cases, these factors could result in certain losses being completely uninsured. As a result, we could lose some or all of the capital we have invested in a property, as well as the anticipated future revenues, profits, management fees or incentive income from the property, we could remain obligated for performance guarantees in favor of third-party property owners or for their debt or other financial obligations, suffer an uninsured or underinsured property loss or we may not have sufficient insurance to cover awards of damages resulting from our liabilities. If the insurance that we carry, our owners (including hospitality ventures) carry or our franchisees carry does not sufficiently cover damages or other losses or liabilities, our profits could be adversely affected.
Any failure to protect our trademarks and intellectual property could reduce the value of our brand names and harm our business.
The reputation and perception of our brands are critical to our success in the hospitality industry. We regularly apply to register our trademarks in the United States and other countries. However, we cannot assure you that those trademark registrations will be granted or that the steps we take to protect our trademarks or intellectual property in the United States and other countries will be adequate to prevent others, including third parties or former colleagues, from copying or using our trademarks or intellectual property without authorization. Our intellectual property is also vulnerable to unauthorized use in some countries outside the United States, where we may not be adequately protected by local law. If our trademarks or intellectual property are copied or used without authorization, the value of our brands, their reputation, our competitive advantages and our goodwill could be harmed.
Monitoring the unauthorized use of our intellectual property is difficult. We may need to resort to litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights. Litigation of this type could be costly, force us to divert our resources, lead to counterclaims or other claims against us or otherwise harm our business.
Third-party claims that we infringe their intellectual property rights could subject us to damages and other costs and expenses.
Third parties may make claims against us for infringing their intellectual property rights. Any such claims, even those without merit, could:
be expensive and time consuming to defend;
force us to stop providing products or services that use the intellectual property that is being challenged;
force us to redesign or rebrand our products or services;
divert our management's attention and resources;
force us to enter into royalty or licensing agreements to obtain the right to use a third-party's intellectual property; or
force us to pay significant damages.
In addition, we may be required to indemnify third-party owners of the hotels we manage or franchise for any losses they incur as a result of any such infringement claims. Any necessary royalty or licensing agreements may not be available to us on acceptable terms. Any costs, lost revenues, changes to our business or management attention related to intellectual property claims against us, whether successful or not, could impact our business.
Information technology system failures, delays in the operation of our information technology systems or system enhancement failures could reduce our revenues and profits and harm the reputation of our brands and our business.
Our success depends on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of our information technology systems. For example, we depend on our central reservation system, which allows bookings by hotels directly, via telephone through our call centers, by travel agents, online through our website www.hyatt.com, and through our online reservations partners. In addition, we depend on information technology to run our day-to-day operations, including, among others, hotel services and amenities such as guest check-in and check-out, housekeeping and room service and systems for tracking and reporting our financial results and the financial results of our hotels.
Our information technology systems are vulnerable to damage or interruption from fire, floods, hurricanes, power loss, telecommunications failures, computer viruses, break-ins and similar events. The occurrence of any of these natural disasters or unanticipated problems at any of our information technology facilities or any of our call centers could cause interruptions or delays in our business or loss of data, or render us unable to process reservations.
In addition, if our information technology systems are unable to provide the information communications capacity that we need, or if our information technology systems suffer problems caused by installing system enhancements, we could experience similar failures or interruptions. If our information technology systems fail and our redundant systems or disaster recovery plans are not adequate to address such failures, or if our property and business interruption insurance does not sufficiently compensate us for any losses that we may incur, our revenues and profits could be reduced and the reputation of our brands and our business could be harmed.
If we fail to stay current with developments in technology necessary for our business, our operations could be harmed and our ability to compete effectively could be diminished.
Sophisticated information technology and other systems are instrumental for the hospitality industry, including systems used for our central reservations, revenue management, property management and Hyatt Gold Passport program, as well as technology systems that we make available to our guests. These information technology and other systems must be refined, updated or replaced with more advanced systems on a regular basis. Developing and maintaining these systems may require significant capital. If we are unable to replace or introduce information technology and other systems as quickly as our competitors or within budgeted costs or schedules when these systems become outdated or need replacing, or if we are unable to achieve the intended benefits of any new information technology or other systems, our operations could be harmed and our ability to compete effectively could be diminished.
Changes in federal, state, local or foreign tax law, interpretations of existing tax law or agreements or disputes with tax authorities could affect our profitability and financial condition by increasing our tax costs.
We are subject to taxation at the federal, state or provincial and local levels in the United States and various other countries and jurisdictions. Our future tax rates could be affected by changes in the composition of earnings in jurisdictions with differing tax rates, changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, or changes in determinations regarding the jurisdictions in which we are subject to tax. From time to time the U.S. federal, state, local and foreign governments make substantive changes to tax rules and the application thereof, such as the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project ("BEPS") currently being undertaken by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ("OECD"). Although we believe our transfer pricing policy implemented in 2015 is in alignment with BEPS and we intend to obtain, where possible, an Advanced Pricing Agreement between jurisdictions, legislative changes, and any interpretations thereof, could result in materially higher corporate taxes than would be incurred under existing tax law or interpretation and could adversely impact profitability. State and local tax authorities have also increased their efforts to increase revenues through changes in tax law and audits. Such changes and proposals, if enacted, could increase our future effective income tax rates. We are subject to on-going and periodic audits by the Internal Revenue Service and various state, local and foreign tax authorities and currently are engaged in disputes with certain of such tax authorities. We believe we have established adequate reserves for potential tax liabilities, but the final amount of taxes assessed and paid could exceed the amount of such reserves, which could reduce our profits.
We are a party to certain agreements with foreign tax authorities that reduce or defer the amount of tax we pay. The expiration of such agreements, or changes in circumstances or in interpretation of such agreements, could increase our tax costs.
We are exposed to counterparty and credit risk and fluctuations in the market values of our investment portfolio.
All of our cash that is not required to fund our daily operating activities is invested in interest bearing investments with a greater focus placed on capital preservation than on investment return. The majority of our cash and cash equivalent balances are held on deposit with high quality financial institutions that hold long-term ratings of at least BBB or Baa from S&P or Moody's, respectively, and in AAA-rated money market funds. As such, we are exposed to counterparty risk on our cash and cash equivalent balances at December 31, 2015. We also have established investment accounts for purposes of investing portions of our cash resources for our loyalty program, certain benefit programs and captive insurance company. Although we have not recognized any significant losses to date on these investments, any significant declines in their market values could materially adversely affect our financial condition and operating results. Credit ratings and pricing of these investments can be negatively affected by liquidity, credit deterioration, financial results, economic risk, political risk, sovereign risk or other factors. As a result, the value and liquidity of our investments could decline and result in impairments, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.
Risks Related to Share Ownership and Other Stockholder Matters
As a public company, we incur significant costs which may adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.
As a public company, we have incurred and will continue to incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses, including costs associated with public company reporting requirements. The expenses incurred by public companies generally for reporting and corporate governance purposes have been increasing. We invest in resources to comply with evolving laws and regulations, and this investment may result in increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management's time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities. These laws and regulations could also make it more difficult or costly for us to obtain certain types of insurance, including director and officer liability insurance, and we may be forced to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. These laws and regulations could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors, our board committees or as our executive officers.
Our stock price has been and is likely to continue to be volatile, and you may not be able to resell shares of your Class A common stock at or above the price you paid.
The stock market in general, and hospitality companies in particular, including us, have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of the underlying businesses. This market volatility, as well as general economic, market or political conditions, could reduce the market price of shares of our Class A common stock in spite of our operating performance. In addition, companies that own or lease a greater proportion of properties have recently experienced disproportionate volatility and price and volume fluctuations and we expect this trend to continue. These broad market and industry factors may seriously harm the market price of our Class A common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance.
In addition to the risks described in this section, several factors that could cause the price of our Class A common stock in the public market to fluctuate significantly include, among others, the following:
quarterly variations in our operating results compared to market expectations;
announcements of acquisitions of or investments in other businesses and properties or dispositions;
announcements of new services or products or significant price reductions by us or our competitors;
size of our public float, which has decreased in recent years;
future conversions to and sales of our Class A common stock by current holders of Class B common stock in the public market, or the perception in the market that the holders of a large number of shares of Class B common stock intend to sell shares;
stock price performance of our competitors;
fluctuations in stock market prices and volumes in the U.S. and abroad;
low investor confidence;
default on our indebtedness or foreclosure of our properties;
changes in senior management or key personnel;
downgrades or changes in financial estimates by securities analysts or negative reports published by securities analysts about our business or the hospitality industry in general;
negative earnings or other announcements by us or other hospitality companies;
downgrades in our credit ratings or the credit ratings of our competitors;
issuances or repurchases of equity or debt securities;
a decision to pay or not to pay dividends;
terrorist activities or threats of such activities, civil or political unrest or war; and
global economic, legal and regulatory factors unrelated to our performance.
Volatility in the market price of our Class A common stock may prevent investors from being able to sell their Class A common stock at or above the price at which they purchased the stock. As a result, investors may suffer a loss on their investment.
Securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in the overall market and in the market price of a company's securities. This litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs, reduce our profits, divert our management's attention and resources and harm our business.
Reports published by securities or industry analysts, including projections in those reports that exceed our actual results, could adversely affect our stock price and trading volume.
Securities research analysts have established and publish their own quarterly projections for our business. These projections may vary widely from one another and may not accurately predict the results we actually achieve. Our stock price may decline if our actual results do not match securities research analysts' projections. Similarly, if one or more of the analysts who writes reports on us downgrades our stock or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, or the hospitality industry in general, our stock price could decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases coverage of our company or fails to publish reports on us regularly, our stock price or trading volume could decline.
Anti-takeover provisions in our organizational documents and Delaware law, as well as agreements with our major stockholders, may discourage or prevent a change of control, even if a sale of Hyatt would be beneficial to our stockholders, which could cause our stock price to decline and prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current board of directors or management.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws, as well as agreements with our major stockholders, contain provisions that may make it difficult to remove our board of directors and management and may discourage or delay "change of control" transactions that certain stockholders may view as beneficial or could involve the payment of a premium over prevailing market prices for our Class A common stock. These provisions include, among others:
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides for a dual class ownership structure, in which our Class B common stock is entitled to ten votes per share and our Class A common stock is entitled to one vote per share. As a result of this structure, our major stockholders have significant influence or actual control over matters requiring stockholder approval.
Voting agreements entered into with or among our major stockholders require these stockholders to vote their shares consistent with the recommendation of our board of directors, assuming in certain instances that a majority of a minimum of three independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker) or, in the case of transactions involving us and an affiliate, all of such minimum of three independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker) agree with the recommendation. While the voting agreements are in effect, they may provide our board of directors with effective control over matters requiring stockholder approval.
Lock-up agreements entered into with stockholders party to our 2007 Stockholders' Agreement limit the ability of these stockholders to sell their shares to any person who would be required to file a Schedule 13D with the SEC disclosing an intent to acquire the shares other than for investment purposes and, in certain instances, to competitors of ours in the hospitality, lodging or gaming industries.
Stockholders party to our 2007 Stockholders' Agreement have agreed, subject to certain limited exceptions, to "standstill" provisions that prevent the stockholders from acquiring additional shares of our common stock, making or participating in acquisition proposals for us or soliciting proxies in connection with meetings of our stockholders, unless the stockholders are invited to do so by our board of directors.
Our board of directors is divided into three classes, with each class serving for a staggered three-year term, which prevents stockholders from electing an entirely new board of directors at an annual meeting.
Our directors may be removed only for cause, which prevents stockholders from being able to remove directors without cause other than those directors who are being elected at an annual meeting.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation does not provide for cumulative voting in the election of directors. As a result, holders of our Class B common stock will control the election of directors and the ability of holders of our Class A common stock to elect director candidates will be limited.
Vacancies on our board of directors, and any newly created director positions created by the expansion of the board of directors, may be filled only by a majority of remaining directors then in office.
Actions to be taken by our stockholders may only be effected at an annual or special meeting of our stockholders and not by written consent.
Special meetings of our stockholders can be called only by the Chairman of the Board or by our corporate secretary at the direction of our board of directors.
Advance notice procedures that stockholders must comply with in order to nominate candidates to our board of directors and propose matters to be brought before an annual meeting of our stockholders may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer's own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of our company.
Our board of directors may, without stockholder approval, issue series of preferred stock, or rights to acquire preferred stock, that could dilute the interest of, or impair the voting power of, holders of our common stock or could also be used as a method of discouraging, delaying or preventing a change of control.
An affirmative vote of the holders of at least 80% of the voting power of our outstanding capital stock entitled to vote is required to amend any provision of our certificate of incorporation or bylaws.
Pritzker family business interests have substantial control over us and have the ability to control the election of directors and other matters submitted to stockholders for approval, which will limit your ability to influence corporate matters or result in actions that you do not believe to be in our interests or your interests.
Our Class B common stock is entitled to ten votes per share and our Class A common stock is entitled to one vote per share. As of January 31, 2016, Pritzker family business interests beneficially own, in the aggregate, 84,541,406 shares, or approximately 77.1%, of our Class B common stock, representing approximately 62.3% of the outstanding shares of our common stock and approximately 75.3% of the total voting power of our outstanding common stock. As a result, consistent with the voting agreements contained in the Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement and the Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement, Pritzker family business interests will be able to exert a significant degree of influence or actual control over our management and affairs and over matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors, a merger, consolidation or sale of all or substantially all of our assets and any other significant transaction. While the voting agreements are in effect, they may provide our board of directors with the effective control over matters requiring stockholder approval. Because of our dual class ownership structure, Pritzker family business interests will continue to exert a significant degree of influence or actual control over matters requiring stockholder approval, even if they own less than 50% of the outstanding shares of our common stock. This concentrated control will limit your ability to influence corporate matters, and the interests of Pritzker family business interests may not coincide with our interests or your interests. As a result, we may take actions that you do not believe to be in our interests or your interests and that could depress our stock price. See also "—Voting agreements entered into with or among our major stockholders, including Pritzker family business interests, will result in a substantial number of our shares being voted consistent with the recommendation of our board of directors, and may limit your ability to influence the election of directors and other matters submitted to stockholders for approval."
In addition, the difference in the voting rights between our Class A common stock and Class B common stock could diminish the value of the Class A common stock to the extent that investors or any potential future purchasers of our common stock ascribe value to the superior voting rights of the Class B common stock.
Disputes among Pritzker family members and among Pritzker family members and the trustees of the Pritzker family trusts may result in significant distractions to our management, disrupt our business, have a negative effect on the trading price of our Class A common stock and/or generate negative publicity about Hyatt and the Pritzker family.
In the past, disputes have arisen between and among certain Pritzker family members, and between and among beneficiaries of the Pritzker family trusts and the trustees of such trusts, with respect to, among other things, the ownership, operation, governance and management of certain Pritzker family business interests. In connection with certain of these disputes, claims were alleged, and in certain cases, proceedings were initiated, against certain Pritzker family members, including Thomas J. Pritzker, our executive chairman, and other Pritzker family members, some of whom have been or are our directors, and against the trustees, including Thomas J. Pritzker in his former capacity as a co-trustee of the Pritzker family U.S. situs trusts. Such past allegations related to, among others, trust management and administration and violations of certain trustee duties, including fiduciary duties. Some of these disputes led to significant negative publicity for the Pritzker family. These disputes have been resolved with no admissions or finding of any misconduct.
Disputes among Pritzker family members, and between and among beneficiaries of the Pritzker family trusts and the trustees of such trusts, including with respect to Hyatt, may arise or continue in the future. If such disputes occur, they may result in significant distractions to our management, disrupt our business, have a negative effect on the trading price of our Class A common stock and/or generate negative publicity about Hyatt and Pritzker family members, including Pritzker family members involved with Hyatt.
Voting agreements entered into with or among our major stockholders, including Pritzker family business interests, will result in a substantial number of our shares being voted consistent with the recommendation of our board of directors, and may limit your ability to influence the election of directors and other matters submitted to stockholders for approval.
Pritzker family business interests, which beneficially own as of January 31, 2016, directly or indirectly, 84,541,406 shares, or 62.3% of our total outstanding common stock and control approximately 75.3% of our total voting power, have entered into a voting agreement with respect to all shares of common stock beneficially owned by Pritzker family business interests. During the term of the voting agreement, which expires on the date upon which more than 75% of the Company's fully diluted shares of common stock is owned by non-Pritzker family business interests, Pritzker family business interests have agreed to vote their shares of our common stock consistent with the recommendation of our board of directors with respect to all matters (assuming agreement as to any such matter by a majority of a minimum of three independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker)) or, in the case of transactions involving us and an affiliate, assuming agreement of all of such minimum of three independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker). In addition, as of January 31, 2016, other existing stockholders, including entities affiliated with Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Madrone GHC, beneficially own, in the aggregate, approximately 22.9% of our outstanding Class B common stock, representing approximately 18.5% of the outstanding shares of our common stock and approximately 22.4% of the total voting power of our outstanding common stock. These entities have entered into a voting agreement with us, with respect to the shares of Class B common stock that they beneficially own, and have agreed to vote their shares of Class B common stock consistent with the recommendation of our board of directors, without any separate requirement that our independent directors agree with the recommendation. These voting agreements expire on the date that Thomas J. Pritzker is no longer chairman of our board of directors. See Part I, Item 1, "Business—Stockholder Agreements."
While the voting agreements are in effect, they may provide our board of directors with effective control over matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors, a merger, consolidation or sale of all or substantially all of our assets and any other significant transaction. This is because the number of our shares that are required by the voting agreements to be voted consistent with the recommendation of our board of directors will be sufficient to determine the outcome of the election of directors and other matters submitted to stockholders for approval. This will limit your ability to influence the election of directors and other matters submitted to stockholders for approval, even if you do not believe those actions to be in our interests or your interests. For instance, the voting agreements may have the effect of delaying or preventing a transaction that would result in a change of control, if our board of directors does not recommend that our stockholders vote in favor of the transaction, even if you or some or all of our major stockholders believe that the transaction is in our interests or your interests. On the other hand, the voting agreements may result in our stockholders approving a transaction that would result in a change of control, if our board of directors recommends that our stockholders vote in favor of the transaction, even if you or some or all of our major stockholders believe that the transaction is not in our interests or your interests.
A significant number of shares of Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of Class B common stock could be sold into the market, which could depress our stock price even if our business is doing well.
Future sales in the public market of Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of Class B common stock, or the perception in the market that the holders of a large number of shares of Class B common stock intend to sell shares, could reduce the market price of our Class A common stock. As of January 31, 2016, we had 26,023,355 shares of Class A common stock outstanding and 109,628,962 shares of Class B common stock outstanding.
Of the outstanding shares, 26,009,152 shares of Class A common stock are freely tradable in the public market without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") unless these shares are held by any of our "affiliates," as that term is defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act ("Rule 144"). The remaining 14,203 outstanding shares of Class A common stock and 109,628,962 outstanding shares of Class B common stock are deemed "restricted securities," as that term is defined in Rule 144. Restricted securities may be sold in the public market only if they are registered under the Securities Act or they qualify for an exemption from registration under Rule 144 or Rule 701 under the Securities Act ("Rule 701").
A majority of these restricted securities, together with 24,530 shares of Class A common stock previously registered, are subject to contractual lock-up and certain other restrictions contained in the Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement and the Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement as described in Part I, Item 1, "Business—Stockholder Agreements." These contractual restrictions may be amended, waived or terminated by the parties to those agreements in accordance with the terms of such agreements without our consent and without notice; the 25% limitation on sales of our common stock may, with respect to each 12 month period, be increased to a higher percentage or waived entirely by the unanimous affirmative vote of our independent directors (excluding for such purposes any Pritzker). All shares of Class A common stock, including shares of Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of shares of Class B common stock, will be eligible for resale in compliance with Rule 144 or Rule 701 to the extent the lock-up restrictions contained in the Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement or the Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement, as applicable, are waived or terminated with respect to such shares. All shares of Class A common stock subject to the restrictions contained in the 2007 Stockholders’ Agreement, as described in Part I, Item 1, "Business—Stockholder Agreements," including shares of Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of shares of Class B common stock, are eligible for resale in compliance with Rule 144 or Rule 701 at any time.
Assuming the lock-up restrictions contained in the Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement and the Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement are not amended, waived or terminated and that there are no transfers of shares amongst Pritzker family stockholders, and further assuming the parties to these agreements, as well as the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement, sell the maximum amount permitted to be sold during the first time period that such shares are eligible to be sold as set forth below, and subject to any applicable restrictions contained in such agreements, as well as the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement, (such as rights of first refusal) and the provisions of Rule 144 and/or Rule 701 under the Securities Act, these restricted securities will be available for sale in the public market as follows:
Number of Shares*
During the 12 month period from November 5, 2015 through November 4, 2016
During the 12 month period from November 5, 2016 through November 4, 2017
During the 12 month period from November 5, 2017 through November 4, 2018
During the 12 month period from November 5, 2018 through November 4, 2019
During the 12 month period from November 5, 2019 through November 4, 2020
During the 12 month period from November 5, 2020 through November 4, 2021
During the 12 month period from November 5, 2021 through November 4, 2022
* The foregoing numbers are based on information as of January 31, 2016 and assume that the maximum number of shares permitted to be sold during each period set forth above are, in fact, sold during each such period. To the extent any shares are not sold during the first time period that such shares are eligible to be sold as described above, the number of shares that may be sold in subsequent time periods may change.
(1) Includes (a) 14,203 shares that are eligible to be sold at any time, (b) 25,112,086 shares that are eligible to be sold at any time, subject to the rights of first refusal, "drag along" rights and other restrictions contained in the 2007 Stockholders' Agreement and (c) 26,859,325 shares that are eligible to be sold by Pritzker family stockholders under the Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement and Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement.
(2) Represents shares eligible to be sold by Pritzker family stockholders under the Amended and Restated Global Hyatt Agreement and Amended and Restated Foreign Global Hyatt Agreement.
In addition, as of December 31, 2015, 6,004,228 shares of our Class A common stock were reserved for issuance under the Third Amended and Restated Hyatt Hotels Corporation Long-Term Incentive Plan (the "LTIP"). These shares of Class A common stock will become eligible for sale in the public market once those shares are issued or awarded under our LTIP, subject to provisions of various award agreements and Rule 144, as applicable. In addition, 621,950 shares of our Class A common stock were reserved for issuance under the Hyatt Hotels Corporation Employee Stock Purchase Plan (the "ESPP"), 1,169,195 shares of our Class A common stock remained available for issuance pursuant to the Amended and Restated Hyatt Corporation Deferred Compensation Plan (the "DCP") and 300,000 shares of Class A common stock remained available for issuance pursuant to the Hyatt International Hotels Retirement Plan (commonly known as the Field Retirement Plan) (the "FRP").
If any of these holders causes a large number of securities to be sold in the public market, the sales could reduce the trading price of our Class A common stock. These sales also could impede our ability to raise future capital. See also "—If holders of shares of our Class B common stock convert their shares of Class B common stock into shares of Class A common stock and exercise their registration rights, a significant number of shares of our Class A common stock could be sold into the market, which could reduce the trading price of our Class A common stock and impede our ability to raise future capital."
We also may issue shares of our Class A common stock from time to time as consideration for future acquisitions and investments. If any such acquisition or investment is significant, the number of shares that we may issue may in turn be significant.
If holders of shares of our Class B common stock convert their shares of Class B common stock into shares of Class A common stock and exercise their registration rights, a significant number of shares of our Class A common stock could be sold into the market, which could reduce the trading price of our Class A common stock and impede our ability to raise future capital.
Holders of 109,628,962 shares of our Class B common stock (or 80.8% of our total outstanding shares of common stock as of January 31, 2016), including Pritzker family business interests and entities affiliated with Goldman, Sachs & Co. and entities affiliated with Madrone Capital, LLC, have rights, subject to certain conditions, to require us to file registration statements registering sales of shares of Class A common stock acquired upon conversion of such Class B common stock or to include sales of such shares of Class A common stock in registration statements that we may file for ourselves or for other stockholders. In order to exercise such registration rights, the holder must be permitted to sell shares of its common stock under applicable lock-up restrictions. See "—A significant number of shares of Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of Class B common stock could be sold into the market, which could depress our stock price even if our business is doing well" and Part I, Item 1, "Business—Stockholder Agreements" for additional information with respect to these lock-up provisions. Subject to compliance with applicable lock-up agreements, shares of Class A common stock sold under the registration statements can be freely sold in the public market. In the event such registration rights are exercised and a large number of shares of Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of shares of Class B common stock are sold in the public market, such sales could reduce the trading price of our Class A common stock. These sales also could impede our ability to raise future capital. Additionally, we will bear all expenses in connection with any such registrations (other than underwriting discounts).
During 2014, certain Pritzker family stockholders exercised their rights to require the Company to register an aggregate of 15,141,517 shares of Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of such stockholders' shares of Class B common stock on a shelf registration statement on Form S-3 pursuant to Rule 415 of the Securities Act. In accordance with the terms of the Registration Rights Agreement, dated as of October 12, 2009, on May 29, 2014, the Company filed an automatic effective shelf registration statement with the SEC to register the resale of such 15,141,517 shares. In connection with such registration, all other holders of registration rights, including trustees of trusts for the benefit of Thomas J. Pritzker and his lineal descendants (including Jason Pritzker), entities affiliated with Goldman, Sachs & Co. and entities affiliated with Madrone Capital, LLC, elected not to exercise their piggyback registration rights.
Additional shares may be registered on the shelf registration statement in the future as such shares are eligible to be sold in accordance with the registration rights agreements and lock-up restrictions. See "—A significant number of shares of Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of Class B common stock could be sold into the market, which could depress our stock price even if our business is doing well" for additional information with respect to the lock-up provisions.
The sale of shares registered under the registration statement in the public market, or the perception that such sales may occur could reduce the trading price of our Class A common stock or impede our ability to raise future capital.
Non-U.S. holders who own more than 5% of our Class A common stock or substantial amounts of our Class B common stock may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on gain realized on the disposition of such stock.
Because we have significant U.S. real estate holdings, we may be a "United States real property holding corporation" ("USRPHC") for U.S. federal income tax purposes, but we have made no determination to that effect. There can be no assurance that we do not currently constitute or will not become a USRPHC. As a result, a "non-U.S. holder" may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on gain realized on a disposition of our Class A common stock if such non-U.S. holder has owned, actually or constructively (through certain family members, related entities and options), more than 5% of our Class A common stock at any time during the shorter of (a) the five-year period ending on the date of disposition and (b) the non-U.S. holder's holding period in such stock.
If we were or were to become a USRPHC, a non-U.S. holder may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on gain realized on the disposition of our Class B common stock. Such tax would apply if on the date such non-U.S. holder actually or constructively acquired Class B common stock, and on any date on which such non-U.S. holder acquires additional Class B common stock, the aggregate fair market of the Class B common stock it actually and constructively owns is greater than 5% of the fair market value of our Class A common stock on such date. Certain dispositions of substantial amounts of Class B common stock by non-U.S. holders may also be subject to withholding under section 1445 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
Item 2. Properties.
The following table sets forth a description of each owned or leased property in the Hyatt portfolio of properties as of December 31, 2015.
# of Hotels
Owned and Leased Properties
Park Hyatt Chicago
Park Hyatt New York
New York, NY
Andaz 5th Avenue
New York, NY
Grand Hyatt New York (4)
New York, NY
Grand Hyatt San Antonio (4)
San Antonio, TX
Grand Hyatt San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
The Driskill (4)
Hyatt Centric The Pike Long Beach (4)
Long Beach, CA
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino (4)
Palm Beach, Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor (4)
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa
Bonita Springs, FL
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
Hyatt Regency Green Bay
Green Bay, WI
Hyatt Regency Greenwich
Old Greenwich, CT
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino
Incline Village, NV
Hyatt Regency Long Beach (4)
Long Beach, CA
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa
Lost Pines, TX
Hyatt Regency Louisville
Hyatt Regency Mexico City
Mexico City, Mexico
Hyatt Regency Miami (4)
Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on Del Monte Golf Course (4)
Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Hyatt Regency Orlando
Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk (4)
San Antonio, TX
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch
# of Hotels
Andaz West Hollywood (3)
West Hollywood, CA
Hyatt Regency San Francisco (3)
San Francisco, CA
Total Americas Owned and Leased Properties
EAME/SW Asia Owned:
Park Hyatt Paris - Vendome
Park Hyatt Zurich (4)
Andaz London Liverpool Street (4)
Hyatt Regency Baku
Hyatt Regency Birmingham
Hyatt Regency Bishkek (4)
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic
EAME/SW Asia Owned
EAME/SW Asia Leased:
Andaz Amsterdam, Prinsengracht (3)
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Grand Hyatt Berlin (3) (6)
Hyatt Regency Cologne (3) (6)
Hyatt Regency Mainz (3) (6)
EAME/SW Asia Leased
Total EAME/SW Asia Owned and Leased Properties
Grand Hyatt Seoul
Seoul, South Korea
Total Full Service Owned and Leased Properties
# of Hotels
Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport (3)
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Hyatt Place Atlanta/Buckhead (2)
Select Service Leased:
Total Select Service Owned and Leased Properties
Unconsolidated Hospitality Venture Properties
Americas Unconsolidated Hospitality Ventures:
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
Grand Hyatt São Paulo
São Paulo, Brazil
Hyatt at The Bellevue
Hyatt Regency Columbus (4)
Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa (4)
Huntington Beach, CA
Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson
Jersey City, NJ
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
Americas Unconsolidated Hospitality Ventures
EAME/SW Asia Unconsolidated Hospitality Ventures:
Park Hyatt Hamburg (3) (5)
Park Hyatt Milan
Grand Hyatt Mumbai
Hyatt Regency Ahmedabad
EAME/SW Asia Unconsolidated Hospitality Ventures
ASPAC Unconsolidated Hospitality Ventures:
Grand Hyatt Bali
ASPAC Unconsolidated Hospitality Ventures
Full Service Unconsolidated Hospitality Ventures
# of Hotels
Hyatt Place Atlanta/Perimeter City
Hyatt Place Ciudad del Carmen
Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico
Hyatt Place Columbia/Downtown/The Vista
Hyatt Place Denver/Downtown
Hyatt Place Fair Lawn/Paramus
Fair Lawn, NJ
Hyatt Place Fort Worth/Cityview
Fort Worth, TX
Hyatt Place Fort Worth/Hurst
Hyatt Place La Paz
La Paz, Mexico
Hyatt Place Minneapolis/Eden Prairie
Eden Prairie, MN
Hyatt Place Panama City/Downtown
Panama City, Panama
Hyatt Place Phoenix/Gilbert
Hyatt Place Princeton
Hyatt Place Los Cabos
San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
Hyatt Place Tijuana
Hyatt House Boston/Waltham
Hyatt House Denver/Downtown
Select Service Unconsolidated Hospitality Ventures
Hyatt Zilara Cancun
Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Hyatt Ziva Cancun
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall
Montego Bay, Jamaica
All Inclusive Unconsolidated Hospitality Ventures
Total Unconsolidated Hospitality Ventures
Unless otherwise indicated, ownership percentages include both the property and the underlying land.
Property is accounted for as a capital lease.
Property is accounted for as an operating lease.
Our ownership interest in the property is subject to a third-party ground lease on the land.
We own a 50% interest in the entity that is the operating lessee and it is an unconsolidated hospitality venture.
We own a 100% interest in the entity that is the operating lessee.
Below is a summary of our Hyatt managed, franchised and owned and leased hotels by segment for all periods presented.
December 31, 2015
December 31, 2014
December 31, 2013
Americas Management and Franchising
Full Service Hotels
Full Service Managed and Franchised
Select Service Hotels
Select Service Managed and Franchised
ASPAC Management and Franchising
Full Service Hotels
Full Service Managed and Franchised
Select Service Hotels
Select Service Managed
EAME/SW Asia Management
Full Service Hotels
Select Service Hotels
Total Managed and Franchised
Included in the summary above are the following owned and leased hotels:
December 31, 2015
December 31, 2014
December 31, 2013
Owned and Leased Hotels
Full Service hotels
Select Service hotels
Total Owned and Leased Hotels
Corporate Headquarters and Regional Offices
Our corporate headquarters are located at 71 South Wacker Drive, 12th Floor, Chicago, Illinois. As of December 31, 2015, these offices consist of approximately 219,900 square feet (net of subleased space). During 2015, we entered into various agreements, whereby we will reduce our leased premises to 214,069 square feet (net of subleased space) as of December 31, 2017. The lease for the remaining premises expires on February 29, 2020. As of December 31, 2015, we also lease 85,022
square feet of office space at 200 West Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois. The lease for this property expires on March 31, 2016. However, we entered into an amendment in April 2015 to extend the term for 56,238 square feet of the leased premises through December 31, 2017. In anticipation of the expiration of these leases, we entered into a new lease for a term of seventeen years for initial premises of approximately 264,106 square feet of space currently under construction at 150 N. Riverside Plaza, Chicago, Illinois, commencing on January 1, 2018.
In addition to our corporate headquarters, we lease space for our regional offices, service centers and sales offices in multiple locations, including Atlanta, Georgia; Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen, People's Republic of China; Cairo, Egypt; Coral Gables, Florida; Dallas, Texas; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Gurgaon and Mumbai, India; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; London, United Kingdom; Mainz, Germany; Marion, Illinois; Melbourne, Australia; Moscow, Russia; Moore, Oklahoma; Nairobi, Kenya; New York, New York; Omaha, Nebraska; Paris, France; Opfikon, Switzerland; San Francisco, California; São Paulo, Brazil; Scottsdale, Arizona; Seoul, South Korea; Singapore; Tokyo, Japan; and Washington, D.C.
We believe that our existing office properties are in good condition and are sufficient and suitable for the conduct of our business. In the event we need to expand our operations, we believe that suitable space will be available on commercially reasonable terms.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
We are involved in various claims and lawsuits arising in the normal course of business, including proceedings involving tort and other general liability claims, workers' compensation and other employee claims, intellectual property claims and claims related to our management of certain hotel properties. Most occurrences involving liability, claims of negligence and employees are covered by insurance with solvent insurance carriers. We recognize a liability when we believe the loss is probable and reasonably estimable. We currently believe that the ultimate outcome of such lawsuits and proceedings will not, individually or in the aggregate, have a material effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or liquidity.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Executive Officers of the Registrant.
The following chart names each of the Company's executive officers and their ages and positions as of February 18, 2016. Also included below is biographical information relating to each of the Company's executive officers. Each of the executive officers is elected by and serves at the pleasure of the board of directors.
Thomas J. Pritzker
Executive Chairman of the Board
Mark S. Hoplamazian
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director (Principal Executive Officer)
Senior Vice President, Interim Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial Officer)
Stephen G. Haggerty
Executive Vice President, Global Head of Capital Strategy, Franchising and Select Service
H. Charles Floyd
Executive Vice President, Global President of Operations
Peter J. Sears
Executive Vice President, Group President—Americas
Executive Vice President, Group President—ASPAC
Executive Vice President, Group President—EAME/SW Asia
Rena Hozore Reiss
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Robert W. K. Webb
Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer
Executive Vice President, Global Chief Marketing Officer
Thomas J. Pritzker has been a member of our board of directors since August 2004 and our Executive Chairman since August 2004. Mr. Pritzker served as our Chief Executive Officer from August 2004 to December 2006. Mr. Pritzker was appointed President of Hyatt Corporation in 1980 and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hyatt Corporation from 1999 to December 2006. Mr. Pritzker is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Pritzker Organization, LLC ("TPO"), the principal financial and investment advisor to certain Pritzker family business interests. Mr. Pritzker also serves as a Director of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. He served as a Director of TransUnion Corp., a credit reporting service company, until June 2010 and as Chairman of Marmon Holdings, Inc. until March 2014. Mr. Pritzker is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Strategic & International Studies; Director and Vice President of The Pritzker Foundation, a charitable foundation; Director and President of the Pritzker Family Philanthropic Fund, a charitable organization; and Director, Chairman and President of The Hyatt Foundation, a charitable foundation which established The Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Mark S. Hoplamazian was appointed to the Board of Directors in November 2006 and named President and Chief Executive Officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation in December 2006. Prior to being appointed to his present position, Mr. Hoplamazian served as President of TPO. During his 17 year tenure with TPO he served as advisor to various Pritzker family-owned companies, including Hyatt Hotels Corporation and its predecessors. He previously worked in international mergers and acquisitions at The First Boston Corporation in New York. Mr. Hoplamazian was appointed to the VF Corporation Board of Directors in February 2015, and serves on the Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves, the Council on the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of World Business Chicago, the Board of Directors of New Schools for Chicago and of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Institute and of the Latin School of Chicago. Mr. Hoplamazian is a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council and the Commercial Club of Chicago and is a member of the Discovery Class of the Henry Crown Fellowship.
Atish Shah was appointed as our Interim Chief Financial Officer in April 2015. In this role, Mr. Shah is responsible for the global finance function, including financial reporting, global treasury, corporate tax, internal audit and investor relations. Prior to his moving into this role, Mr. Shah was Senior Vice President, Strategy, Financial Planning & Analysis and Investor Relations. Prior to joining Hyatt in 2009, Mr. Shah served as a portfolio manager of a hospitality real estate private equity fund at Lowe Enterprises. Prior to that, he worked for Hilton Hotels Corporation in a variety of finance roles, including feasibility, planning, investment analysis and investor relations. Prior to Hilton, Mr. Shah was an associate in the hospitality consulting practice of Coopers & Lybrand, LLP.
Stephen G. Haggerty was appointed Executive Vice President, Global Head of Capital Strategy, Franchising and Select Service in August 2014. In this role, Mr. Haggerty is responsible for implementing our overall capital and franchising strategy and overseeing our select service business. Prior to assuming his current role, Mr. Haggerty was the Executive Vice President, Global Head of Real Estate and Capital Strategy from October 2012. In that role, Mr. Haggerty was responsible for implementing our capital strategy, managing our hotel asset base and providing support to our development professionals around the world. Prior to October 2012, Mr. Haggerty was responsible for our global development team, our global feasibility and development finance team, our corporate transactions group, and our global asset management team that oversees all of our
owned hotel properties and development of hotels and vacation ownership properties in which we have ownership. Before joining us, Mr. Haggerty spent 13 years serving in several positions of increasing responsibility with Marriott International, Inc., a lodging company, most recently in London as Senior Vice President, International Project Finance and Asset Management for Europe, Africa and the Middle East from 2005 to 2007. Prior to this position, from 2003 to 2005, Mr. Haggerty served as Marriott's Senior Vice President of Global Asset Management and Development Finance and previously lived in Asia for nine years holding a variety of roles relating to development at Marriott.
H. Charles Floyd was appointed Executive Vice President, Global President of Operations in August 2014. In this role, Mr. Floyd leads and develops Hyatt’s shared operation services organization known as the GOC and is responsible for the successful operation of Hyatt’s hotels globally. Mr. Floyd is also responsible for ensuring operating efficiency in the roll-out of new innovations, unifying the Company's global operations, and overseeing the Company’s information technology resources, worldwide sales organization and call centers. The Group Presidents for each of Hyatt’s three regions report to Mr. Floyd. Prior to his current role, Mr. Floyd was Executive Vice President, Group President—Global Operations Center from October 2012. Mr. Floyd has been with us since 1981. Mr. Floyd served as our Chief Operating Officer—North America from January 2006. In this role he was responsible for management of our full service hotels and resorts as well as the Hyatt Place and the Hyatt House brands in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. In addition, he oversaw Hyatt Residential Group, Inc. (formerly known as Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc.) and the Franchise Owner Relations Group, which supports both full service and select service and extended stay franchisees. He also oversaw various corporate functions for North America, including sales, human resources, product and design, rooms, food and beverage and engineering. Since joining Hyatt, Mr. Floyd served in a number of senior positions, including Executive Vice President—North America Operations and Senior Vice President of Sales, as well as various managing director and general manager roles.
Peter J. Sears was appointed Executive Vice President, Group President—Americas in September 2014. Mr. Sears is responsible for the growth and successful operation of Hyatt’s portfolio in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to his current role, he was the Senior Vice President, Operations for Asia Pacific. Mr. Sears began his career with Hyatt as a corporate trainee at Hyatt Regency San Antonio in 1987, and went on to hold numerous positions of increasing operational responsibility. These positions included serving as general manager of five full service hotels in North America at properties located in San Francisco, Orange County, and Lake Tahoe. In 2006, he became Senior Vice President of Field Operations for the Central Region, and in 2009, became Senior Vice President, Operations for North America.
David Udell was appointed as Executive Vice President, Group President—ASPAC in July 2014. Mr. Udell is responsible for overseeing hotels in Southeast Asia, China, Australia, South Korea and Japan. Prior to his current role, Mr. Udell was the Senior Vice President, Operations for the GOC. Mr. Udell has also served as Senior Vice President—Operations, Asia Pacific, where he was responsible for overseeing the operation of 55 hotels within the region. Over the last 32 years, Mr. Udell has held senior management positions in Hyatt properties in Bangkok, Seoul, Hong Kong and Tokyo. In 1992, he was appointed opening General Manager of Park Hyatt Tokyo and in 1996, General Manager of Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Mr. Udell is a 1982 graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, N.Y. He began his career with Hyatt as a Corporate Management Trainee at Hyatt Regency Singapore in 1982.
Peter Fulton was appointed Executive Vice President, Group President—EAME/SW Asia in October 2012. Mr. Fulton is responsible for overseeing hotels in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia. In 1983, Mr. Fulton embarked on his career with Hyatt International as Food & Beverage Manager at Hyatt Regency Auckland. For the next nine years, he filled senior food and beverage positions at Hyatt properties in Dubai, Canberra and Macau before receiving his first appointment as Manager at Hyatt Regency Acapulco. In 1994, Mr. Fulton was appointed General Manager of the same hotel. Three years later, Mr. Fulton was appointed General Manager at Hyatt Regency Delhi, where he remained until assuming the position of General Manager of Grand Hyatt Dubai. From 2001 until February 2008, Mr. Fulton oversaw Grand Hyatt Dubai, the largest 5-star hotel in the region, which opened in March 2003. From February 2008 until October 2012, Mr. Fulton was the Managing Director South West Asia. Prior to Hyatt, Mr. Fulton worked for Travelodge in Christchurch and Auckland, New Zealand, Claridges Hotel in London, and Le Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Rena Hozore Reiss has served as our Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since August 2010. Ms. Reiss joined Hyatt after spending 10 years at Marriott International, Inc. where she most recently served as Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, overseeing a legal team responsible for supporting that company's development activities in the Americas. From 2000 to 2007, Ms. Reiss held a series of increasingly responsible positions at Marriott, including serving as Senior Counsel and Vice President and Assistant General Counsel. Prior to entering the hospitality industry, Ms. Reiss practiced law at Thomson Muraro Razook & Hart in Miami, Florida, served as an Associate General Counsel for the Miami Herald Publishing Company, and was a Partner with Counts & Kanne, Chartered in Washington, DC.
Robert W. K. Webb has served as our Chief Human Resources Officer since August 2007 and our Executive Vice President since 2011. Prior to joining Hyatt, Mr. Webb served as Head of Global Service Delivery for Citi Employee Services
at Citigroup Inc., a global financial services company. During his 19 year tenure at Citigroup and two predecessor companies, Mr. Webb served as Chief Administrative Officer for a global business unit and held several senior human resources roles in North America and international operations.
Maryam Banikarim was appointed as Executive Vice President, Global Chief Marketing Officer in January 2015. Ms. Banikarim is responsible for driving the company's individual brands and the experiences they offer online and offline while working across the organization to facilitate innovation around the guest experience. Ms. Banikarim joined Hyatt with more than 20 years of marketing expertise across multiple industries. In her most recent prior role from 2011 to January 2015, she was Gannett’s first ever Chief Marketing Officer and also served as senior vice president. Before Gannett, Ms. Banikarim served as senior vice president at NBC Universal from 2009 to 2011, chief marketing officer for Univision Communications, Inc. from 2002 to 2009, and founded a strategy firm that consulted for such clients as Deutsche Bank, Bacardi and Time-Warner. She also worked at Turner Broadcasting, MacMillan Publishing, and was a lead team member for the launch of CitySearch, an early Internet start-up. Ms. Banikarim began her career at Young & Rubicam.
Pursuant to our employment letter with Mr. Thomas J. Pritzker, we have agreed that so long as he is a member of our board of directors we will use our commercially reasonable efforts to appoint him as our executive chairman as long as he is willing and able to serve in that office. If he is not re-appointed as executive chairman, he will be entitled to terminate his employment with the rights and entitlements available to him under our severance policies as if his employment was terminated by us without cause.
Pursuant to our employment letter with Mr. Mark S. Hoplamazian, we have agreed that so long as he is the president and chief executive officer of Hyatt, we will use our commercially reasonable efforts to nominate him for re-election as a director prior to the end of his term. If he is not re-elected to the board of directors, he will be entitled to terminate his employment with the rights and entitlements available to him under our severance policies as if his employment was terminated by us without cause.
Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Our Class A common stock began trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "H" on November 5, 2009. Prior to that time, there was no public market for our Class A common stock. As of January 31, 2016, our Class A common stock was held by approximately 34 shareholders of record and there were 26,023,355 shares of Class A common stock outstanding. This stockholder figure does not include a substantially greater number of "street name" holders or beneficial holders of our Class A common stock whose shares are held of record by banks, brokers and other financial institutions. The following table sets forth, for the period indicated, the high and low sale prices of our Class A common stock as reported by the New York Stock Exchange for the two most recent fiscal years.
Fiscal Year end December 31, 2014
Fiscal Year end December 31, 2015
On February 12, 2016, the closing stock price of our Class A common stock was $39.61.
There is no established public trading market for our Class B common stock. As of January 31, 2016, our Class B common stock was held by 106 shareholders and there were 109,628,962 shares of Class B common stock outstanding.
We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock. In addition, we must comply with the covenants in our revolving credit facility if we want to pay cash dividends. We currently intend to retain our future earnings, if any, to finance the further development and expansion of our business and engage in share repurchase activity. Any future determination to pay dividends will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our financial condition, capital requirements, restrictions contained in current or future financing instruments and such other factors as our board of directors deems relevant.
The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed "soliciting material" or to be "filed" with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act or Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.
The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return since December 31, 2010, with the S&P 500 Index ("S&P 500") and the Russell 1000 Hotel/Motel Index (the "Russell 1000 Hotel"). The graph assumes that the value of the investment in our Class A common stock and each index was $100 at December 31, 2010 and that all dividends and other distributions were reinvested.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Russell 1000 Hotel
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
Use of Proceeds from Registered Securities
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The following table sets forth information regarding the Company's purchases of shares of Class A common stock during the quarter ended December 31, 2015:
Total Number of Shares Purchased (1)
Weighted Average Price Paid per Share
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans
Maximum Number (or Approximate Dollar Value) of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased under the Program
October 1 to October 31, 2015
November 1 to November 30, 2015
December 1 to December 31, 2015
(1) On August 4, 2015, we announced the approval of an expansion of our share repurchase program pursuant to which we are authorized to purchase up to an additional $400 million of Class A and Class B common stock in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions, or otherwise, including pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 plan. The repurchase program does not have an expiration date. As of December 31, 2015, the Company had approximately $129 million remaining under the share repurchase authorization. On February 11, 2016, the Company's board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $250 million of the Company's common stock. As of February 12, 2016, the Company had approximately $340