Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group is investing $250M to acquire a 30% steak in YOTEL, a chain of affordable "pod" style hotels in New York City, Boston, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Amsterdam Schiphol; with San Francisco and Singapore opening this year (2017). Shareholders in YOTEL now include IFA Hotels, United Investments Portugal, Kuwait Real Estate Company (AQARAT), who jointly own 65% stake in the company. The investment will be used to invest 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 bolster YOTEL’s rapid worldwide expansion, with a specific focus on Europe, North America and Asia. Starwood has already secured city center sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Amsterdam which are expected to open as YOTELs by 2019. Cody Bradshaw, Managing Director, Head of European Hotels at Starwood Capital Group and Sarah Broughton, Senior Vice President, Starwood Capital Group will also join the YOTEL board of directors. Other hotel brands in Starwood Capital Group’s portfolio include 1 Hotels and Baccarat Hotels and Resorts.
“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.”
“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,” said Talal Al-Bahar, Chairman of YOTEL and the main investor.