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Minor International secures another win in its Thai legal claim against Marriott International

The Thai court, in its latest decision, once again affirmed MINT’s right to pursue legal action against Marriott in Thai court and under Thai law.

Further to its obligation to keep its stakeholders informed of material events, Minor International (“MINT”) makes the following statement.

MINT, through a subsidiary, has filed a legal claim in Thai court against Marriott International, Inc. (“Marriott”) in relation to the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa (the “JW Marriott Phuket”) which is owned by MINT and operated by the Marriott group. MINT’s claim is for damages of THB 570,605,134 and alleges that Marriott has committed numerous serious offenses under Thai law, including:

  • actively and openly competing with the JW Marriott Phuket through its operation of competing Marriott portfolio hotels;
  • using the facilities of the JW Marriott Phuket to promote Marriott’s other competing hotels;
  • misappropriating MINT’s confidential and proprietary information to promote Marriott’s competing hotels and unlawfully benefit Marriott’s interests at MINT’s expense;
  • forcing the JW Marriott Phuket to accept high volumes of low margin business through Marriott’s loyalty program and operating its loyalty program in bad faith and against the interests of MINT as hotel owner;
  • failing to manage the JW Marriott Phuket in a manner that properly protects and benefits the owner’s interest, including implementing poor purchasing practices, high staff turnover and making damaging sales/marketing decisions; and
  • unduly enriching Marriott at the expense of the hotel and MINT, through non-transparent license fee arrangements, supplier rebates and use of monies in the Marriott loyalty program fund.

The Thai court, in its latest decision, once again affirmed MINT’s right to pursue legal action against Marriott in Thai court and under Thai law. This most recent court decision is yet another strong assertion by the Thai courts of their jurisdiction over matters of Thai law, despite Marriott’s attempts to block Thai hotel owners from holding Marriott accountable for its actions in Thailand. MINT understands that other Marriott hotel owners, including in Thailand, are closely monitoring MINT’s legal case. Indeed, the Thai court’s decision will be highly encouraging to other Thai hotel owners seeking to ensure that Marriott will be required to answer for its actions under Thai law and in the Thai courts. We are aware of at least one other Thai hotel owner that has terminated Marriott’s hotel management contracts and we expect that others will follow suit shortly. MINT has also strengthened its legal team through the appointment of BH2I, a law firm comprised of lawyers with extensive relevant experience, to act as additional legal counsel on its legal cases against Marriott to ensure a positive outcome for MINT and other Marriott hotel owners.

Steve Chojnacki, Chief Commercial Officer and General Counsel of MINT, said: “Marriott appears desperate to avoid facing these Thai law claims in Thai court, notwithstanding that the hotel is located in Thailand and has a Thai owner. Given Marriott’s business presence in Thailand, we are surprised at its attempt to apply onerous contractual provisions to avoid accountability for its business practices in Thai court. We have full confidence in the Thai court system and have every expectation of a positive outcome for Minor International in our Thai law proceedings against Marriott.”

About Minor International: Minor International (MINT) is a global company focused on three core businesses: hospitality, restaurants and lifestyle brands distribution. MINT is a hotel owner, operator and investor with a portfolio of over 520 hotels under the Anantara, Avani, Oaks, Tivoli, NH Collection, NH, nhow, Elewana, Marriott, Four Seasons, St. Regis and Radisson Blu brands in 56 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Europe, South and North America. MINT is also one of Asia’s largest restaurant companies with over 2,300 outlets system-wide in 24 countries under The Pizza Company, The Coffee Club, Riverside, Benihana, Thai Express, Bonchon, Swensen’s, Sizzler, Dairy Queen, Burger King and Coffee Journey brands.

MINT is one of Thailand’s largest distributors of lifestyle brands and contract manufacturers. Its brands include Anello, BergHOFF, Bodum, Bossini, Charles & Keith, Esprit, Joseph Joseph, Radley, Zwilling J.A. Henckels and Minor Smart Kids.

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