MCR Acquires Hotel Property Management Solutions Provider StayNTouch for $ 46 Million Following Divestment of Shiji Group |


StayNTouch was acquired in September 2018 by Shiji Group. President Donald Trump then intervened, issuing an executive order to overturn ownership of the company by the Shiji Group on the basis of national security.

By HTN staff – 08.31.2020

MCR, which is the fifth-largest hotel owner-operator in the United States, with a $ 3.0 billion portfolio of 92 upscale branded hotels, announced it will acquire StayNTouch, a popular cloud-based hotel property management system and contactless solutions provider, for $ 46 million.

StayNTouch, which is based in Bethesda, Maryland, has an unusual history. It was acquired in September 2018 by Shiji Group, an Alibaba-backed Chinese conglomerate that operates more than 70 subsidiaries and brands providing technology platforms and solutions for the hospitality, retail, foodservice and entertainment industries. She worked there for two years as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Although the terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, Shiji Group was among the participants in a $ 9.5 million Series A financing round for StayNTouch in February 2016.

Then, in March of this year, President Donald Trump intervened, issuing an executive order to overturn ownership of the company by the Shiji Group on the basis of national security. The decree required Shiji Group to divest its interest in StayNTouch and “all operations developed, owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by StayNTouch at the time of or since its acquisition” within four months.

The White House’s stated concern was that the Shiji Group “may take action that threatens to undermine the national security of the United States.” The intervention was unprecedented government action in the world of hotel technology acquisitions. For its part, Shiji Group explained, to no avail, that the company, which serves more than 60,000 hotels, does not access guest data and vehemently denied that its ownership of StayNTouch posed a threat in any way. or for the security of the United States.

This was only the sixth time in history that an American president has blocked or canceled a foreign takeover of an American company for reasons of national security.

StayNTouch offers a hotel property management system that allows managers to track reservations, room rates, room inventory, and housekeeping on a mobile or tablet interface. One of the company’s competitive points of differentiation is its price, which is significantly lower than many larger property management systems on the market in terms of total costs of ownership.

Founded in 2013, StayNTouch is also one of the only property management systems to offer contactless guest registration through a smart web kiosk. StayNTouch has added more than 40 hotels to its proprietary platform in the past five months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

StayNTouch’s system, which vertically integrates into hotel technology stacks, would be used in 500 hotels worldwide in more than 100,000 rooms, including all 512 rooms. TWA Hotel at JFK New York Airport owned and operated by MCR, Yotel Properties, MGM Resorts, Great Wolf Lodge, Mint Hotels, Conscious Hotels, Valencia Hotels, Modus Hotels and Margaritaville.

Founded in 2006, MCR is headquartered in New York and Dallas. The company has 3,600 team members across the country and operates hotels under 11 Marriott and Hilton brands.

In a press release, MCR notes that it has a close relationship with the StayNTouch management team that dates back to the development of the TWA hotel in 2018. According to Tyler Morse, president and CEO of MCR / MORSE Development, who will be president of StayNTouch, MCR will partner with the StayNTouch team to invest in customer support, product development and technology infrastructure.

According to sources, MCR plans to invest $ 10 million to expand StayNTouch’s research and development. MCR does not anticipate any structural changes for StayNTouch. The company will continue to operate normally with the same management team based in Bethesda, Maryland. StayNTouch has reportedly added more than 40 hotels to its platform in the past five months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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