Marriott to become sole owner of luxurious boutique hotel company

Published: 26 October 2020 - 10:46 a.m.
Marriott International has made a formal request to acquire 100 percent ownership of boutique hotel company Design Hotels.

Starwood Hotels snapped up a 72 percent stake in Design Hotels in 2011 and once Starwood was acquired by Marriott in 2016, that stake moved over to the Marriott also. Since then, Marriott has gained 95 percent ownership of Design Hotels and is now planning to acquire the remaining five percent.

According to various news sources, Marriott hopes for the deal to conclude within three months from now, making a cash offer to the existing shareholders of Design Hotels.

A spokesperson for Marriott International explains: “Marriott now has 95 per cent ownership of Design Hotels shares, and German law permits a company owning 90 per cent or more to initiate a process to obtain the remaining shares.”

Design Hotels said the move would not change how the company does business. A spokesperson said, “As the merger squeeze-out is a corporate organisational development and we do not plan changes to the way we operate the business, there is no impact to the senior leadership team.”

“Our 330-plus members will remain part of our global and unrivalled community of independent, design-driven hotels that function as social hubs and spaces for purposeful experiences. Having Marriott International as the future sole owner, Design Hotels members can expect additional benefits and opportunities to obtain a greater and more selective reach and to take advantage of new programmes and practices in size and scale.”

Founded in 1993, Design Hotels has a portfolio of more than 300 independent and boutique hotels. Design Hotels membership gives properties access to the company’s management, PR and communications resources, as well as its sales, marketing and revenue teams to help drive success.

At the time of writing there is only one Design Hotels property in the Middle East – Form Hotel Dubai.

Should the deal take place, more Design Hotels properties will benefit from the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programme.

Marriott isn’t the only international hotel group making waves in the boutique sector right now. Just last week Radisson Hotel Group announced a conversion brand to take on boutique hotels as Radisson-managed properties.

Radisson plans to move its new Radisson Individuals brand into Italy, Germany, Russia and other key markets.


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