Queensgate Investments completes acquisition of Freehand Hotels for 400 million

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LONDON–Queensgate Investments has acquired Freehand Hotels from a seller consortium including The Yucaipa Companies and Sydell Group for $400 million.

Freehand Hotels is a US lifestyle hotels brand, owner and operator of hotel assets with circa 1,000 keys across four hotels in Manhattan, Miami Beach, Downtown Los Angeles and Chicago. Included in the acquisition is the award winning Broken Shaker bar concept.

Generator, a Queensgate-owned company, will manage Freehand Hotels and retain the distinct identity of the Freehand and Generator brands.

Queensgate Investments acquired Generator in 2017. Under Queensgate’s ownership, Generator has doubled EBITDA, implemented an estate wide accretive capex program to upgrade assets to 4* hotel standard, developed new assets in Madrid and Miami, and acquired the Courtyard Marriott in Washington DC’s Dupont Circle neighbourhood to convert to a Generator.

Puneet Kanuga, Investment Director at Queensgate Investments said: “The acquisition of Freehand is of strategic importance to Generator, and the combined portfolio represents one of the largest asset-rich lifestyle hospitality platforms globally with 19 hotels in 17 gateway cities. There is now a significant push to grow the presence of both Freehand and Generator across the UK and Europe, with opportunities currently being evaluated in London, Edinburgh, Milan, Amsterdam and other gateway European cities”.

Queensgate Investments advises and manages around GBP 3B worth of assets through the suite of Queensgate Investments Funds. Queensgate is a partnership between the Kow Family, Alvarium Investments and Peterson Group. Queensgate differentiates itself by its flexible, nimble and non-institutional approach to producing superior risk adjusted returns.

Key investments include:

  • Grange: in 2019, QI acquired a portfolio of 4 Grange Hotels from the founding shareholders. The Grange portfolio comprises 4 hotels with c.930,000 sqftof real estate in central London.
  • Forum: in 2015, QI acquired the 906 room Kensington Forum Hotel, the fifth largest hotel in the UK, from Apollo. In 2019 QI recently procured planning permission to turn this asset into a GBP 1B hotel and service apartment redevelopment
  • Generator: in 2017, QI acquired Generator from Patron Capital. Generator owns 15 predominantly freehold assets. Generator targets the fast-growing sector of millennial customers, focusing on the best capital city addresses, design-led interiors, and attractive shared social spaces.
  • LEO: in 2013, QI acquired London Executive Offices from Morgan Stanley, a 5* service office business, with 38 assets with c.920,000 sqft in Belgravia, Mayfair, Midtown and the City.
  • Meridian: in 2015, QI finished construction on a 488 room 5-star InterContinental Hotel, Europe’s largest hotel connected conference centre, 100 private residences and 40 serviced apartments at the O2 Arena.