DoubleDragon’s hotel unit secures ticker symbol for planned Nasdaq SPAC listing

SIA-led real estate firm DoubleDragon Corp. (DD) said its hotel subsidiary has reserved the ticker symbol “HBNB,” bringing the company close to its planned listing on the United States Nasdaq Stock Exchange via the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) route.

DD said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that Hotel101 Global Pte. Ltd. has secured “HBNB” as its ticker symbol. The hotel firm will be the first Filipino company to list via SPAC in Nasdaq.

With this, DD said that Hotel101 Global expects to sign the definitive SPAC business combination merger agreement with its chosen SPAC sponsor by March, to be followed by the official listing of its prospectus, subject to US regulatory approvals.

A SPAC raises capital via an initial public offering for the purpose of acquiring an existing operating company.

“The SPAC listing will enable DD’s hotel subsidiary to not only increase its equity capital base but will also make Hotel101 become more relevant overseas and the step would at the same time further strengthen DD’s consolidated balance sheet,” the listed real estate company said.

Hotel101 is expected to derive over 95% of its revenues outside of the Philippines to be consolidated back to DD.

“The opportunity that we see globally in the hospitality space is that of standardization because we believe it brings unbeatable efficiency, especially for the mid-end segment. Take for example the budget airline industry — essentially all budget airlines sell one product across the whole industry and that product is the economy seat,” DD Chairman Edgar “Injap” J. Sia II said.

Hotel101’s first three overseas projects will be in locations such as Niseko Hokkaido, Japan, Madrid, Spain and Los Angeles, California, USA. The company’s hotels have an average of 500 rooms per site. A typical room has prefabricated toilets, standardized flat pack furniture, as well as a single type of bulb within the whole building.

The company is seeking to have presence in 25 countries by 2026. These include the Philippines, Japan, Spain, USA, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Mexico, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, Italy, Germany, France, and China.

“Eventually we see Hotel101 rooms to be just like that one iconic hamburger in a global fast-food chain, it is the same no matter where you go — yes, the price changes as costs vary from country to country, but the burger doesn’t change,” Hotel101 Chief Executive Officer Hannah Yulo-Luccini said.

Hotel101 is seeking to have a portfolio of one million rooms in 101 countries before 2050.

On Thursday, DD stocks rose by 45 centavos or 5.84% to P8.15 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave