Thailand’s Richest 2019: Major Moves For Minor Hotels’ Billionaire Chief

10-May-2019 Intellasia | Forbes | 6:00 AM Print This Post

This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of Thailand’s Richest 2019. See the full coverage here.

Even measured against its steady expansion in recent years, Minor International’s purchase last year of 94 percent of Spain’s NH Hotel Group for roughly $2.7 billion marked a giant leap for founder and CEO William Heinecke (No. 22), morphing the Bangkok-based hotelier into a global player. “We went from about 150 hotels to 550 hotels, making us one of the largest hotel groups in the world,” says Heinecke, 70. Buying NH also took Minor from 22,209 rooms in 2017 to 75,241 rooms at the end of 2018.

US-born Heinecke started Minor in 1967 as an office cleaning and advertising company while still a teen studying at Bangkok’s International School. His fathera former US military officer who worked for the foreign servicemoved the family around Southeast Asia before settling in Thailand in 1963. Apart from its core hotel business, Minor also operates about 2,200 restaurants and shops in Thailand and in over 60 countries around the world. “We probably have 150 hotels in the pipeline. It took us 40 years to get to 100-150 hotels,” says Heinecke, who became a Thai citizen in 1992. “It’s mind-boggling.”

Minor continues to expand, and plans new properties for its Anantara line of hotels in Africa, Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia. The company’s revenue climbed 35 percent to 79.3 billion baht ($2.5 billion) in 2018 from a year earlier, with hotels contributing about 65 percent, and food and retail the rest. Net profits were flat at 5.4 billion baht, as increased competition in food and retail crimped margins. Heinecke is optimistic, though, that consumer confidence and domestic consumption will improve following Thailand’s long-delayed elections in March.


Category: Thailand

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