Starwood in final stages of acquiring Golden Tulip

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm has entered into exclusive talks to buy the hotel group, which it would merge with its budget hospitality group, Louvre Hotels. The deal is expected to close on 26 June. Last week, Starwood floated a $500m debt vehicle to target distressed real estate.

Starwood Capital has entered into exclusive talks to buy the Swiss hospitality group Golden Tulip creating one of the world’s largest hotel companies.

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based private equity real estate firm said in a statement it was planning to merge its budget hotel company, Louvre Hotels, with Golden Tulip once the deal was closed on 26 June.

In a statement, Starwood managing director Rich Gomel said the alliance would create a hospitality company with 1,070 hotels in more than 40 countries and comprising around 82,000 rooms. He added that the combined Louvre/Golden Tulip group would target corporate accounts.

The deal would give Starwood rights to all of Golden Tulip’s assets, franchise and management contracts, as well as the brands Golden Tulip and Tulip Inn, commercial representation contracts and various joint venture interests. Financial details were not disclosed.

Last week, Starwood – founded by Barry Sternlicht – floated a $500 million debt vehicle that will target distressed commercial and residential real estate opportunities using financing from the US government rescue plans, TALF and PPIP.

Starwood Property Trust (SPT), which will register as a REIT, is seeking to raise $500 million in its IPO, according to regulatory filings. SPT will originate and acquire distressed debt instruments backed by commercial real estate, including whole mortgage loans, bridge loans, B notes, mezzanine loans and CMBS. SPT will predominantly invest in the US, and will also target residential real estate debt instruments. The firm would not, though, target “loan-to-own” investments.

Starwood is also in the market raising the $3 billion Starwood Capital Global Hospitality II, according to documents from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.