Accorhotels has announced plans to acquire an 85 per cent stake in 21C Museum Hotels for US$51 million.
Launched in Louisville in 2006, the art-focused hotel group combines boutique hotels with contemporary art museums and “chef-driven restaurants”.
The US-based hotel group currently has eight properties open Louisville, Bentonville, Cincinnati, Durham, Kansas City, Lexington, Nashville and Oklahoma City, with a further three under development in Des Moines, Miami and Chicago.
According to Accorhotels 21C Museum is one of the largest contemporary art museums in the US, and the only collecting museum in North America “dedicated solely to art of the 21st century”. The art collections within each property are open and accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The group will join Accorhotel’s MGallery collection, marking the launch of the boutique brand in North America.
The deal will see 21C Museum Hotel’s co-founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson retain a 15 per cent stake in the company, with the transaction expected to complete during the third quarter of 2018.
Kevin Frid, Chief Operating Officer, North and Central America, Accorhotels, said that the acquisition “marks a new step in Accorhotels’ strategy of being the leading player in the Luxury and Lifestyle segment in North America”, while 21C Museum Hotels’ founder Steve Wilson said:
“21c Museum Hotels is proud to announce our entry into the Accorhotels family. Accorhotels is one of the world’s leading hotel operators and will be a perfect partner and catalyst for 21c’s continued growth.
“We are confident that the unique spirit of 21c will not only be preserved, but will flourish within the MGallery collection of boutique hotels.
“21c will continue to bring the work of today’s most dynamic and engaging contemporary artists to the public, and this partnership will be a tremendous boost for 21c’s continued development in North America and abroad. We are extremely excited to see what the future holds.”
The move is the latest in a raft of acquisitions by French hotel group Accorhotels.
Last month it announced plans to buy a 50 per cent stake in US hotel and restaurant group SBE Entertainment Group, which owns brands including Delano, Mondrian, Hudson and SLS, as well as London’s Sanderson and St Martins Lane properties which are marketed under the Originals Collection.
Earlier this year the group signed an agreement to buy Chilean hotel chain Atton Hoteles, as well as a deal to acquire Swiss hotel group Movenpick.