An investment group formed by a former Goldman Sachs executive now owns the largest hotel in Paris by room count.
Henderson Park, a London-based property firm, has reportedly acquired Le Méridien Etoile from U.S. group Mount Kellett Capital Management and U.K.-based Cedar Capital. The sale price was noted to be around $390 million (€365 million).
The Starwood-operated Le Méridien Etoile is less than a mile from the Arc de Triomphe and has 1,025 rooms.
The hotel last changed hands for a reported $380 million in 2014 when it was sold by Starwood Capital.
Henderson Park was founded by Nick Weber, formerly of Goldman Sachs. "Le Meridien Etoile hotel is a superb hotel with significant potential and fits our approach to investments, being an extremely high quality property in a prime location within a top tier or gateway city, but which also offers the opportunity to asset manage further value," Weber told City A.M.
"We are firm believers in Paris’ strong underlying fundamentals as both a travel destination and an investment location, which, next to London, is one of only two truly global cities in Europe and remains one of the top three cities in the world in terms of tourist numbers."
In September, Henderson Park launched as a new European real estate investment platform backed by three cornerstone investors: Stone Point Capital, Kuwait Investment Authority and Wafra Investment Advisory Group, who reportedly collectively committed over $500 million in capital. This was the firm's first transaction.
As WSJ points out, the deal is one of the biggest for hotels in Europe so far this year. According to Real Capital Analytics, the €4.3 billion invested between July and September was up 20 percent compared with the period in 2015.
“The Paris hotel market has gone through a tumultuous time,” Weber was quoted as saying in The Wall Street Journal, noting last year's attacks. "Le Méridien Etoile is poised to take advantage of a recovering hotel market.
“Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. That’s not going to change.”