Sternlicht: ‘Milestone’ for $3.2bn Societe Du Louvre deal

Barry Sternlicht, chairman and chief executive officer of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Starwood Capital Group, hails the sale of four luxury hotels in France that were inherited as part of the 2005 takeover of conglomerate La Louvre as an important stage in the ‘monetisation’ of its portfolio.

Barry Sternlicht, chairman and chief executive officer of Starwood Capital Group, has called the sale of four luxury hotels in Europe a “milestone” development for the company’s $3.2 billion investment in Societe Du Louvre eight years ago.

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm has sold four assets from the conglomerate that it took over in 2005: Concorde Lafayette, Hotel du Louvre, the Martinez and Palais de la Mediterranee – all of which have been purchased by Qatar Holding’s prime hotel and office investment vehicle, Constellation Hotels Holdings, and which will be managed by Hyatt Hotels. The value of the deal has not been disclosed, although it has been reported as €800 million.

The sale of the four hotels plus prior sales of drinks company Taittinger, perfume retailer Annick Goutal and several other hotel properties that formed part of Societe Du Louvre have generated approximately $3 billion in total proceeds. 

Speaking about the exit Sternlicht said: “Completing the sale of a majority of our luxury hotel assets marks an important milestone in the ongoing monetization of the portfolio. We have sold more than $3 billion in assets since closing, and will continue to maximize the value of our remaining assets to generate attractive returns for our investor partners.”

Starwood still owns Louvre Hotels Group, which has grown from 805 hotels when Starwood took it over, to more than 1,090 hotels under its four brands: Premiere Classe, Campanile, Kyriad and Golden Tulip. Louvre Hotels Group is the eighth largest hotel network in the world and has hotels in 39 countries.

Starwood said revenue and market share had increased across the portfolio despite “challenging economic conditions in Europe”, and that it would focus on improve sales and its distribution platform, as well as “opportunistically” expanding the brand worldwide, renovating core assets and completing dispositions of non-core real estate where possible.

The Societe Du Louvre group also is the majority owner of Baccarat, a 248 year-old crystal company that sells lighting, jewelry, tabletop and gift categories. Baccarat is opening its first flagship hotel and residences late next year in New York. It also is opening a new flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City this summer.