U.K.-based Queensgate Investments acquired the U.S. lifestyle hotel brand, owner and operator Freehand Hotels from a seller consortium, including The Yucaipa Cos. and Sydell Group, for approximately $400 million. Hodges Ward Elliott brokered the transaction on behalf of the seller.
Freehand has 922 rooms across four hotels in New York City, Miami Beach, Los Angeles and Chicago. The acquisition also included the Broken Shaker bar concept that operates at the Freehand hotels.
Generator, a Queensgate-owned company, will manage the Freehand properties and retain the distinct identity of the Freehand and Generator brands. Queensgate Investments bought Generator in 2017 and has since doubled its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, implemented a propertywide accretive CapEx program to upgrade its assets, developed new assets in Madrid and Miami Beach and acquired a Courtyard by Marriott in Washington, D.C., to convert to a Generator. Generator Miami, opened in 2018, marked the brand’s first U.S. location.
"The acquisition of Freehand is of strategic importance to Generator, and the combined portfolio represents one of the largest asset-rich lifestyle hospitality platforms globally with 19 hotels in 17 gateway cities,” said Puneet Kanuga, investment director at Queensgate Investments. “There is now a significant push to grow the presence of both Freehand and Generator across the U.K. and Europe, with opportunities currently being evaluated in London, Edinburgh, Milan, Amsterdam and other gateway European cities."
Queensgate Investments advises and manages approximately $3.78 billion of assets through the suite of Queensgate Investments Funds. The group is a partnership between the Kow Family, Alvarium Investments and Peterson Group.