Constellation Hotels Buys 80% Interest for $240M in InterContinental New York Barclay

Constellation Barclay Holding U.S. has acquired an 80 percent stake in the historic 685-room InterContinental New York Barclay in Manhattan from InterContinental Hotels Group for $240 million.

InterContinentalNYBarclay

Constellation Barclay Holding US, L.L.C. has acquired an 80 percent stake in the historic 685-room InterContinental New York Barclay in Manhattan from InterContinental Hotels Group for $240 million. IHG will own the remaining 20 percent and continue to manage the hotel under a long-term contract.

The joint venture will renovate the 88-year-old hotel at 111 E. 48th St. in a $175 million refurbishment and repositioning expected to take 18 months to complete.

The transaction was arranged on behalf of IHG by the JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group led by Mark Wynne-Smith, Global CEO; Arthur Adler, managing director &CEO, Americas; Jeffrey Davis, managing director; and Executive Vice President Gilda Perez-Alvarado.

The terms of the deal were announced in December. Since then, the joint venture has raised external debt giving IHG total gross disposal proceeds in cash of $274 million, according to an IHG press release.

“The parties of this joint venture seized an incredible opportunity to own and elevate the positioning of an iconic hotel in one of the top global lodging markets,” Wynne-Smith said in a JLL release. “We expect New York to continue its position as the leading market for investments in the United States as a result of its tremendous appeal to both domestic and off-shore investors.”

Adler noted in the press release that the hotel had attracted strong interest from domestic, Middle Eastern and Asian investor groups because of its long-standing reputation in New York, its world-class affiliation with InterContinental Hotels, and its location in one of Manhattan’s strongest lodging submarkets.

Constellation Barclay Holding U.S. is an affiliate of Constellation Hotels Holding Ltd., an investment group based in Qatar and Luxembourg. In March 2013, an affiliate of Constellation Hotels Holding bought the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel from IHG for $457 million.

When the New York deal was announced in December, Richard Solomons, IHG Chief Executive, said in a news release that it “demonstrates the enduring strength of the InterContinental brand and deepens the relationship with Constellation Hotels, a highly respected owner. We are delighted to be working in partnership with them to manage and extensively refurbish and reposition the hotel.”

The joint venture comes at a time when New York City is teaming with tourists and the hotel companies are building new properties and refurbishing assets to offer those visitors plenty of choices. More than 100 properties, most of them in Manhattan, have opened or are under development through 2016 in New York City, according to NYC & Co. Hotel transaction volume in New York reached $1.8 billion in 2013, making it the most liquid hotel investment market in the U.S. and the third most liquid hotel investment market in the world after London and Singapore, according to Perez-Alvarado of JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group.

“Transaction volume in New York is expected to range from $2.7 billion to $2.8 billion in 2014, significantly above volumes observed in 2013,” she told Commercial Property Executive.

For IHG, the Manhattan deal comes weeks after it sold another high-profile hotel in the U.S. A joint venture created by affiliates of Woodridge Capital Partners and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management L.P. recently acquired the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco for $120 million.