Waterford Hotel Group, Waterton join forces to grow hospitality footprint

The Westin Great Southern Columbus (Ohio) is one of eight hotels in Waterton's portfolio that will be managed by Waterford as part of the merger. Photo credit: Marriott International

Connecticut-based hospitality management company Waterford Hotel Group and Waterton, a Chicago-based real estate investor and operator, joined forces to form a new venture to strengthen and grow their hospitality portfolios.

With Waterford Hotel Group driving operations for the joint group's hotel assets, Waterton will concentrate efforts on continued real estate investment strategies, including growing its hotel portfolio.

“This merger between our organizations will serve as a catalyst to grow our hospitality portfolios in a strategic manner,” Len Wolman, chairman and CEO of Waterford, said in a statement. “More importantly, it presents greater opportunities for all of our stakeholders, including value add for ownership groups, strengthened brand relations, and increased talent attraction and career growth for our associates.”

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Waterford assumed management of eight hotels previously operated by Waterton. Waterford’s portfolio grew to 41 properties in nine states, representing more than 6,200 keys. The properties that were transitioned, six of which are full-service hotels, total more than 1,600 guestrooms in Ohio, Illinois and Massachusetts.

Waterton partnered with Waterford based on the firms’ more than 30 years of hospitality expertise and track record of increasing market share and profitability through operational efficiency, which complements Waterton’s investment and asset management expertise. The new venture gives Waterton a platform to leverage the combined asset management and operational acumen of the two firms.

“Our investment management expertise and Waterford’s operational expertise represent a powerful combination which is sure to be attractive to brokers, sellers and investors in the hotel space,” David Schwartz, CEO, chairman and co-founder of Waterton, said in a statement. “Combining our hotel management platform with Waterford allows Waterton to remain in the hotel business with a more strategic focus on asset management and acquisitions, while creating a larger portfolio with greater synergies for our assets and growth opportunities for our operations professionals.”

New York-based investment banking company RobertDouglas advised both firms on the transaction.