BOSTON—Global private equity investor Advent International has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority ownership interest in third-party hotel operator Aimbridge Hospitality from Lee Equity Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm, and General Atlantic, a global growth investing firm. Aimbridge’s senior management team will continue to lead the company and will retain a meaningful equity stake in the business.
The transaction is expected to close by February. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Based in Dallas, Aimbridge’s management portfolio includes approximately 800 upscale, independent and branded hotels with more than 100,000 rooms across the U.S.,Canada and the Caribbean. Aimbridge provides property management, asset management, development, renovation and consulting services to hotel brands including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Wyndham.
“Over the past 15 years, Aimbridge has grown to become one of the most respected independent hotel managers in the industry, while creating a positive guest experience and generating operational excellence for our hotel partners,” said Dave Johnson, chairman/CEO of Aimbridge Hospitality. “We appreciate Lee Equity’s strategic guidance over the past several years, and with Advent’s financial and strategic support, we look forward to building on our proven track record of delivering superior results for some of the most prestigious hotel owners and developers across the U.S. and beyond.”
Johnson told Hotel Business that the “seamless” transaction will leave the entire management team in place, and will not change any of the company’s plans discussed in the profile of Johnson in the Dec. 15, 2018 issue of Hotel Business.
Since 2013, Aimbridge has made significant progress on its growth strategy, expanding its properties under management from eight to more than 800 and penetrating full-service and select-service properties at attractive growth rates. With its strong position and the support of Advent in partnership with Lee Equity and the Aimbridge management team, Aimbridge will be well positioned for continued growth and international expansion, the company reports.
“Aimbridge has emerged as the clear leader in the fast-growing and fragmented U.S. third-party hotel management industry, and we are thrilled to partner with the organization as we invest in Aimbridge’s next chapter of growth,” said Jeff Case, a managing director at Advent International. “Aimbridge has a unique opportunity to expand its reach globally through both organic growth and strategic opportunities while leveraging technology to better serve its hotel partners.”
“It’s been a pleasure to work with the Aimbridge management team,” said Yoo Jin Kim, partner at Lee Equity Partners. “Under Dave Johnson’s strong leadership, the team has grown the business consistently during our partnership and established a prominent market-leading position. We look forward to their next phase of success.”
“Over the past several years, Aimbridge has expanded significantly both through organic growth and strategic acquisitions,” said Peter Munzig, managing director of General Atlantic. “We have been proud to work in partnership with Dave and the Aimbridge team and wish them continued success.”
Advent has extensive investment experience in the business and financial services and retail, consumer and leisure sectors. Over the past 27 years, Advent has invested $9 billion in 75 business and financial services companies and $11 billion in 75 companies in consumer, retail and leisure.