Queensgate Investments Acquires Freehand Hotels for $400M

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 U.S. lifestyle hotels brand, owner and operator of hotel assets with approximately 1,000 keys across four hotels in Manhattan, Miami Beach, Downtown Los Angeles and Chicago. Included in the acquisition is the 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 a four-star hotel standard, developed new assets in Madrid and Miami, and acquired the Courtyard Marriott in Washington, DC’s Dupont Circle neighborhood to convert to a Generator.

“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,” said Puneet Kanuga, investment director, Queensgate Investments. “There is now a significant push to grow the presence of both Freehand and Generator across the U.K. and Europe, with opportunities currently being evaluated in London, Edinburgh [Scotland], Milan, Amsterdam and other gateway European cities.”

Hodges Ward Elliott assisted the seller in the transaction. 

The deal team on behalf of Queensgate was led by Brown Rudnick LLP’s Tom Phillips (real estate), Jen Charles and Phil Flink (corporate) in Boston, Tom Regan (real estate finance) in Hartford, Barbara Kelly (tax matters) and Steve Einhorn (employee benefits) in New York, and Tuvi Keinan (real estate finance) and Nick Vasquez (corporate) in London.