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Pritzker family to sell Hyatt shares

The controlling family behind Hyatt Hotels Corporation plans to sell nine million of their Class B voting shares back to the company, the group said in a statement on 16 May.

The controlling family behind Hyatt Hotels Corporation plans to sell nine million of their Class B voting shares back to the company, the group said in a statement on 16 May.

The Pritzker family, which holds around 80% of the Class B stock (over 100 million shares) through a number of family trusts, will sell nine million shares for $395.7 million. The deal is expected to close this month and accounts for around 6.9% of the company’s overall Class B shares.

Although this sale will not significantly decrease the family’s voting rights, analysts say that the offloading of shares follows the family’s strategy to reduce their stake but retain control of the company. The Pritzker family together holds 77.9% of the voting rights of the company.

According to the company’s dual structure of shareholding, every Class B share commands 10 votes while the Class A shares have one vote per share. Hyatt Hotels Corporation said in a statement that it was buying back the family’s shares as the company’s strong balance sheet position allowed it to make this deal.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation was founded in 1957 by Jay Pritzker when he bought his first motel near Los Angeles airport. Following that Jay and his brother Donald grew the company into one of the world’s biggest hotel chains.

The family took the company public in November 2009 but retained 80% of the Class B stock. The IPO was part of the family’s plan to split wealth between 11 third-generation Pritzker cousins (Continue reading here)

Second-generation Thomas Pritzker is currently the executive chairman of the company. The group had 2010 revenues of $3.52 billion, up from $3.33 billion in 2009.

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