It was big news when sbe Entertainment announced that they were in talks to merge with restaurant and club operator Hakkasan Group. But that was March and both parties have been tight-lipped about the detail in the past five months. That is, until now.
CEO Sam Nazarian recently told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that "sbe remains in negotiations to complete a financial transaction in which sbe's and Hakkasan's formidable hospitality assets are combined into one company. We are looking forward to completing the transaction to accelerate our already robust expansion."
sbe Entertainment is best known for their chain of hotels, as well as popular nightlife venues like Hyde, Doheny Room, Nightingale, Skybar, Bar Nue, Fourteen, XIV Sessions, Double Barrell House, The Library and Create Nightclub.
Together, sbe and Hakkasan have an equity value of more than $1 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported in March.
Some insiders worry that this may be history repeating itself. sbe Entertainment spent months negotiating a takeover of Morgans Hotel Group in 2015 before talks collapsed. The L.A.-based hospitality company ended up buying the boutique hotel brand one year later.
Experts warn that mergers and acquisitions can often take much longer than anticipated. Negotiations could take anywhere from a few months to more than a year. We may not hear anything for quite a while.
For their part, Hakkasan Group isn't sitting around to see what happened. They recently announced a roadmap that included opening 30 new clubs and restaurants by 2020.