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Starwood to take stake in Design Hotels of Germany

Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced earlier it has signed an agreement to acquire 49.8 per cent of Design Hotels from Arabella Hospitality, one of its partners in Germany.

Berlin-based Design Hotels, a publicly traded company and provider of distribution, sales, marketing and consulting services for hotels boasts a portfolio of over 200 member hotels in 40 countries.

The brand’s hand-picked collection of hotels are independently owned, but united by a passion for thought-provoking design, aesthetic and service-driven experiences.

The opportunity to acquire a stake in Design Hotels came through Starwood’s relationship with Arabella Hospitality, which recently re-focused its hotel strategy mainly on ownership and asset management and as a result chose to divest its shares in Design Hotels.

Starwood continues to manage or franchise 20 of Arabella Hospitality SE’s hotels in Europe.

“This is an investment presented to us by a long-time partner,” said Frits van Paasschen, president of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

“With our own passion for design and innovation, we have long admired Design Hotels, its founder Claus Sendlinger and his executive team, who have worked closely with some of the world’s most exciting independent hotel owners to curate a unique collection of hotels around the globe.

[stock]HOT|1m|right|Starwood up following news of Design Hotels deal[/stock]

“As a shareholder, we are delighted to have a seat at the table of this dynamic company.” 

The transaction, which is subject to anti-trust approval in Germany, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012.

“Having Starwood with its leading global footprint and lifestyle brands as an investor is a further validation that Design Hotels is a strong brand of global relevance as we continue to grow and focus on our niche in the New Luxury hotel segment,” said Sendlinger.

“Furthermore, Starwood has a keen appreciation for what makes Design Hotels distinct and special, the creative spirit of our visionary hoteliers.”

According to van Paasschen and Sendlinger, Starwood will not be involved in the day-to-day operations of Design Hotels, nor will Design Hotels participate in any of Starwood’s centralised delivery systems including reservations and Starwood Preferred Guest.