AccorHotels has announced it has signed an agreement to acquire 85% of 21c Museum Hotels, a hospitality management company that combines a multi-venue contemporary art museum, boutique hotels and restaurants. The brand has 11 properties currently open and under development across the United States. AccorHotels paid US$39m for the stake (excluding a potential earn out).
21c Museum Hotels was founded in 2006 in Louisville by philanthropists and contemporary art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson.
Inspired by the idea that art can ignite urban revitalisation and catalyse civic connection, Brown and Wilson rehabilitated a series of 19th century warehouses in Louisville’s downtown arts and theatre district to open the first 21c Museum Hotel.
The success of the Louisville flagship created opportunities for expansion and today the company operates eight 21c properties in Bentonville, Cincinnati, Durham, Kansas City, Lexington, Louisville, Nashville and Oklahoma City, with three more in development in Des Moines, Miami and Chicago.
21c Museum Hotels will join AccorHotels’ MGallery collection of boutique hotels, marking the introduction of the MGallery brand into the North American market.
Each MGallery property has its own design and story to tell, from Hotel Molitor Paris – MGallery and INK Hotel Amsterdam – MGallery to Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan – MGallery and Harbour Rocks Hotel Sydney – MGallery.
The new agreement will allow 21c Museum Hotels to leverage AccorHotels’ global hospitality platform while retaining its independent spirit. Co-founders Laura Lee Brown & Steve Wilson will retain a 15% stake in the company.
21c Museum Hotels will continue to be led by president & CEO Craig Greenberg and the corporate headquarters for 21c will remain in Louisville, Kentucky.
No real estate is included in the acquisition and the transaction should be completed during the third quarter of 2018.
Kevin Frid, chief operating officer, North & Central America, AccorHotels, said: “We are delighted to welcome 21c Museum Hotels as part of the AccorHotels family of brands… This strategic acquisition marks a new step in AccorHotels’ strategy of being the leading player in the Luxury and Lifestyle segment in North America.”
21c founder, Steve Wilson, added: “We are confident that the unique spirit of 21c will not only be preserved, but will flourish within the MGallery collection of boutique hotels.”