Wyndham's Dolce acquisition grows group business exponentially

(Monte Casino)

Wyndham Hotel Group has acquired Dolce Hotels and Resorts, which has a current portfolio of 24 hotels and more than 5,500 rooms across North America and seven countries in Europe.

Dolce was acquired by Wyndham for $57 million in cash, and the acquisition expands Wyndham's managed portfolio by nearly 40 percent, with a focus on the group and meeting segments. Wyndham also plans to grow the Dolce brand as part of its existing portfolio of brands. 

"Dolce is a terrific strategic fit for us," Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO, Wyndham Hotel Group, said in a release. "With over three decades of established brand equity, Dolce is a respected leader in the group space with outstanding destination properties and some of the best meeting product offerings available in the market today. In addition, Dolce has a long, successful history of award-winning innovation in conference planning and management. We look forward to continuing the growth of the Dolce brand and leveraging these Dolce attributes across the Wyndham global system while enhancing the Dolce owner and guest experience."

Morgan Stanley & Co. acted as exclusive financial advisor to the seller in connection with the transaction.

Wyndham's acquisition is another recent example of industry consolidation. In January, when InterContinental Hotels Group acquired lifestyle hotel chain Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for $430 million, a portfolio consisting of 62 hotels in 28 U.S. cities. Acquisitions of brand portfolios are becoming more commonplace (see Marriott's acquisition of Protea in Africa), as a quick way for hotel companies to expand without building new hotels or flagging others. 

"Steven Rudnitsky, our president and chief executive officer, and I have consistently looked for strategic opportunities to grow Dolce in a way that preserves the brand, continues our focus on meetings and benefits our property owners," Philip F. Maritz, chairman of Dolce Hotels and Resorts, said in a release. "When Wyndham Worldwide agreed to just such an approach with Dolce, Rudnitsky and his senior leadership team concurred that the acquisition would achieve our objectives and provide the best future for all our stakeholders."