Belfast Telegraph

Yotel bags £185m investment to drive hotel group’s global expansion

The London-based firm will use the funding to widen its reach across Europe, North America and Asia.

Mini-hotel operator Yotel has turbo-charged its expansion plans after netting a $250 million (£185 million) investment from Starwood Capital Group.

The London-based firm will use the funding to widen its reach across Europe, North America and Asia, with sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Amsterdam set to open in 2019.

Starwood – a private investment firm with interests in global real estate and oil and gas – will take a 30% slice of the company and fund property acquisitions for new hotels and conversions.

Yotel chief executive Hubert Viriot said: “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.”

Alongside the investment, Starwood Capital Group’s head of hotels Cody Bradshaw and its senior vice president Sarah Broughton will join Yotel’s board.

Yotel, which has hotels in Gatwick and Heathrow Airport, added new US sites in Boston and San Francisco this year.

Barry Sternlicht, chairman and chief executive of Starwood Capital Group, said: “This strategic partnership and investment highlights Starwood’s long-standing 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.

“Yotel has global appeal and can be easily scaled up with key strategic acquisitions and developments in desired city centre and airport locations.”

The company’s shareholders include Al-Bahar Group, IFA Hotels & Resorts, United Investment Portugal and Kuwait Real Estate Company (AQARAT), which together own a 65% stake.

Talal Al Bahar, Yotel chairman and 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.”

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