LONDON--YOTEL announced today that a fund affiliated with Starwood Capital Group ("Starwood"), a leading global private investment firm, has committed to making a strategic investment of $250 million in YOTEL, including acquiring a 30 percent stake in the company and investing in real estate acquisitions for new build, hotel conversion and adaptive reuse properties as YOTEL expands its international scale.
Starwood's investment in and ongoing partnership with YOTEL will further enable YOTEL's rapid worldwide expansion, with a specific focus on Europe, North America and Asia. It also will help YOTEL strengthen its brand identity, expand geographically and enhance YOTEL's innovative guest experience. Starwood have already secured city centre sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Amsterdam which are expected to open as YOTELs by 2019.
"This strategic partnership and investment highlights Starwood's longstanding passion and commitment to invest in innovative hospitality platforms. YOTEL is an exciting brand focused on technology, smart design and a distinct guest experience at an affordable price, which is the right strategy amid the current wave of digital disruption," said Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group. "YOTEL has global appeal and can be easily scaled up with key strategic acquisitions and developments in desired city centre and airport locations."
Cody Bradshaw, Managing Director, Head of European Hotels at Starwood Capital Group and Sarah Broughton, Senior Vice President, Starwood Capital Group will join the YOTEL board of directors, alongside representatives of the company's major shareholders including the Jassim Al-Bahar Group, IFA Hotels & Resorts, United Investment Portugal and Aqarat which jointly own 65% stake in the company.
Talal Al Bahar, Chairman of YOTEL and the lead investor said, "We are delighted to announce a new institutional investor into YOTEL alongside our existing shareholders. Starwood Capital Group's investment validates the company's strategy, provides strength and stability at a critical expansion stage and opens up new horizons for YOTEL to become the leading affordable luxury hotel brand."
Hubert Viriot, CEO of YOTEL commented, "YOTEL is growing rapidly with 15 hotels currently at various stages of development. We look forward to leveraging Starwood's investment, design, operational and technological expertise to expand our platform, attract talent and enter additional markets whilst continuing to work closely with our existing partners and fostering new relationships as we take our brand to the next level."
The partnership with Starwood Capital Group comes as YOTEL celebrates its 10th anniversary, a year of significant growth that includes the openings of YOTEL Boston and YOTEL San Francisco in North America and YOTEL Singapore, which will open on 1 October and will be YOTEL's first hotel in Asia.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch advised Starwood Capital Group on the transaction.