Yotel embarks on next step in global hotel expansion strategy

Pictured: The Yotel New York. (Starwood is set to back Yotel's global expansion plans after its $250-million purchase of a stake in the hotel chain. )

Yotel founder Simon Woodroffe, who also launched the Yo! Sushi chain, has been gearing up for the brand's international expansion in recent months. Now that Yotel has secured private equity backing from Starwood Capital Group, the brand has cleared yet another hurdle to achieve this goal. 

Starwood Capital—with the advisement from the Bank of Merrill Lynch—signed a deal to claim a 30-percent stake in Yotel worth $250 million. This investment will fund the brand's growth across the hotel markets in Europe, North America and Asia. The group already acquired sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Amsterdam to develop new Yotel properties, which are slated to launch by 2019. 

In line with the transaction, Cody Bradshaw, Starwood's MD and head of European hotels; Sarah Broughton, SVP at Starwood Capital; and representatives of the firm's major shareholders will take on new positions on the Yotel board. These shareholders include Jassim Al-Bahar Group, IFA Hotels & Resorts, United Investments Portugal and Aqarat, which jointly own a 65-percent stake in Starwood. 

Under the YotelAir brand, the hotel group operates four airport hotels in London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris' Charle de Gaulle airports. The brand also has three city hotels in New York, Boston and Singapore in its global portfolio. While Yotel will mark its debut in the Asian market with its first Singapore Yotel, which is opening on Oct. 1 near Changi International Airport, development is already underway for 15 new sites. The new Yotel locations include San Francisco, London Clerkenwell, Dubai, Edinburgh, Miami and Amsterdam.