Hyatt Hotels Corp.'s presence in France just grew by four hotels and more than 1,700 rooms. Starwood Capital Group's Groupe Du Louvre affiliate has completed the sale of four hotels in France—Concorde Lafayette, Hotel du Louvre, Martinez and Palais de la Mediterranee—to Constellation Hotels Holdings, which has tapped Hyatt to manage the properties. In doing so, the hotels will be rebranded under Hyatt's Grand, Regency and Andaz flags beginning in April. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Here are the specifics:
- Hotel Martinez will be rebranded Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez
- Palais de la Mediterranée Hotel and Casino will be rebranded Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterrané
- Concorde Lafayette will be rebranded Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile
- Hotel du Louvre will enter the Hyatt brand family with its identity intact and will be marketed initially as Hotel du Louvre. Following a renovation, the hotel is to become an Andaz.
Each of the four hotels will undergo a renovation and all hotels can be booked via Hyatt's reservation systems beginning in April.
"We continue to grow in a thoughtful way, focusing on the key destinations where Hyatt guests are traveling. Paris and Cannes are France's two most important cities for business and leisure travel, and Nice is one of the most in-demand resort areas in the world," said Peter Fulton, group president, EAME/Southwest Asia for Hyatt.
Added Peter Norman, SVP, real estate and development, EAME for Hyatt, said: "There is significant demand for our brands in Europe, and we are delighted to expand our representation in these high-barrier-to-entry markets with a single transaction. These destinations have consistently high demand—according to the Paris Convention and Visitors office, Paris alone is the largest hotel market in Continental Europe—which gives us a fantastic opportunity to increase awareness of all Hyatt has to offer."
Zaki El Guiziri, co-chief executive officer, Constellation Hotels Holding Ltd., said the company chose Hyatt to operate the hotels based on its global reputation. "We believe their expertise and brand reputation will add significant value to an already impressive collection of hotels," he said.
The four properties were originally acquired by Starwood Capital as part of the 2005 $3.2-billion acquisition of Societe Du Louvre, a conglomerate which included Europe's second-largest hotel network now called Louvre Hotels Group, and Groupe Taittinger, owner of champagne producer Taittinger CCVC, among other holdings.
The sale to Constellation is a departure from who was originally thought to be the buyer when Starwood Capital put out word in June it would be selling the hotels. Back then, sources said the buyer would be Katara Hospitality, formerly known as Qatar National Hotels Company, which owns The Peninsula in Paris.
"Completing the sale of a majority of our luxury hotel assets marks an important milestone in the ongoing monetization of the GDL portfolio," said Barry Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group. "We have sold more than $3 billion in assets since closing, and will continue to maximize the value of our remaining assets to generate attractive returns for our investor partners. In the coming years, we expect to continue our expansion and renovation of our Louvre Hotels Group portfolio and to support the growth of Baccarat into new geographies, with a focus on Asia, expanding its presence in the hotel and residential arena."
The sale of these four hotels plus prior divestitures of Taittinger CCVC, Annick Goutal and several other hotel properties have generated approximately $3 billion in total proceeds. The company retains ownership of Louvre Hotels Group, which has grown from 805 hotels at acquisition to north of 1,090 hotels today under its four brands; Premiere Classe, Campanile, Kyriad and Golden Tulip. Louvre Hotels Group is the eighth largest hotel network in the world and operates in 39 countries.