Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has announced the signing of an agreement with Arabella Hospitality SE (Arabella), one of Starwood's longtime partners in Germany, to acquire 49.8% of the shares of Design Hotels AG.
"This is an investment presented to us by a longtime partner," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
"With our own passion for design and innovation, we have long admired Design Hotels, its founder, CEO 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. As a shareholder, we are delighted to have a seat at the table of this dynamic company."
"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 Claus Sendlinger.
"Furthermore, Starwood has a keen appreciation for what makes Design Hotels distinct and special, and that is 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 centralized delivery systems including reservations and Starwood Preferred Guest.
The transaction, which is subject to anti-trust approval in Germany, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012.