French hospitality company AccorHotels is expanding its foothold in the U.S. by acquiring a 50 percent stake in lifestyle hotel and restaurant company, SBE Entertainment Group, owner of Morgans Hotel Group, for $319 million.
SBE founder and CEO Sam Nazarian will continue to run SBE independently from its global headquarters in New York, and will own the remaining 50 percent of the company. SBE’s hotel brands include SLS, Delano, Mondrian, Hyde, and the Redbury, and its dining brands include Katsuya, Umami Burger, and Cleo. It also owns a number of nightclub brands. In 2016, SBE bought Morgans for $82 million, significantly adding to its lifestyle hotel portfolio, which will consist of 25 hotels by the end of 2018.
“North America, for us, is an increased focus,” Guarav Bhushan, AccorHotels chief development officer and head of mergers and acquisitions told Skift earlier this month. “We’re putting a lot of energy and resources into development here,” he added, noting that the focus would be on luxury and lifestyle brands.
That SBE is a company whose portfolio includes hotels, nightclubs, and restaurants also bolsters AccorHotels’ vision for moving beyond just a hotel company, something AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin spoke about at length at the recent Skift Forum Europe.
Regardless of the potential challenges associated with this transaction, AccorHotels has made it clear that it is paying close attention to growing its lifestyle portfolio, and especially so in North America. And it’s also made it quite clear that its acquisitive streak has no intention of stopping anytime soon.