Spain’s AC Hotels and Marriott International
have reached a preliminary agreement to form a joint venture that
will manage and franchise a new lodging co-brand across Europe and
Latin America – “AC by Marriott”.
Founded in 1998 by Antonio Catalán, AC Hotels
currently has a portfolio of over 90 owned, leased or managed
hotels in Spain, Italy and Portugal, encompassing approximately
9,500 rooms and 2,800 employees.
The combination of the two companies will permit Marriott’s customers
access under the Marriott Rewards program to a portfolio of
Spain’s leading business and urban-leisure hotels, enable AC’s
guests to earn Marriott Rewards points for travel at Marriott
branded hotels around the world, and provide both companies with a
platform for future growth.
“AC by Marriott” will focus on
becoming a market leader in Europe and Latin America in the urban,
four-star hotel category. At the launch of the joint venture, more
than ninety (90) existing AC hotels in Spain, Italy and Portugal
are expected to be re-branded “AC by Marriott” and enter into long
term management or franchise agreements with the joint venture.
The hotels will continue to be owned by affiliates of AC Hotels
and other third parties.
Future hotels would then be added to
the portfolio under both management contracts and franchise
The joint venture will be led by Antonio Catalán and
his current team from AC Hotels headquarters in Madrid, with
support on key functions from Marriott’s team in Europe, headed by
Marriott’s European President Amy McPherson.
the joint venture is subject to negotiation of definitive
transaction documents and customary closing conditions for
transactions of this type, including obtaining any necessary
consent. The parties anticipate closing in calendar year 2010,
with the new AC by Marriott brand to launch in 2011.
Deloitte Corporate Finance in Madrid is acting as the lead
financial advisor to both parties in this transaction.
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