Kor Hotel Sells Half Stake to UAE Firm, Plans International Expansion

Kor Hotel Group has just taken on a new partner. The Los Angeles-headquartered hospitality company sold a 50 percent stake to Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Co. for an undisclosed amount. With the new investment, Kor will expand its Tides and Viceroy brands to major gateway cities and leading resort destinations

Kor Hotel Group has just taken on a new partner. The Los Angeles-headquartered hospitality company sold a 50 percent stake to Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Development Co. for an undisclosed amount. With the new investment, Kor will expand its Tides and Viceroy brands to major gateway cities and leading resort destinations in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. Kor’s decision to sell part of its company was not a calculated move, but a simple evolution of a partnership. “This relationship has been developed over several months, allowing each party to discuss and strategize the best possible scenarios for cooperation,” a Kor spokesperson told CPN. “In the end, Mubadala’s goals aligned with Kor’s, in terms of expansion and the growth of the luxury hospitality industry in Abu Dhabi. The relationship began as one of developer meets hotel management company.” The partnership paves the way for Kor to execute its long-term worldwide expansion strategy, capitalizing on Mubadala’s international connections with developers and capital partners. “Mubadala’s interest in hospitality, specifically in Kor’s luxury brands, provided the company with a great opportunity to facilitate the kind of growth we aspire to,” the spokesperson said. The plan to enhance the number of properties carrying the upscale Tides and Viceroy brands on a global level will allow Kor to take advantage of various burgeoning markets of the Middle East, North Africa and Asia where it currently has no presence. “International expansion in these markets is ideal given the amount and focus of investment and development in these regions,” he said. “Unlike domestic destinations and projects, Kor’s growth in emerging markets allows access to travelers from markets that continue to flourish, in spite of challenges within the U.S. economy. Kor’s Viceroy and Tides brands align perfectly with the kind of design and guest service experience not currently seen in these destinations.” Among the target cities is Abu Dhabi, where several projects are on the drawing board with scheduled openings by 2012. Other developments are currently in the works in Dubai and Vietnam. Most of the hotel and resort properties will be ground-up developments, although there will be a few re-flagging endeavors. Kor is a privately held real estate development and management company that investments predominantly in hotels, resorts and multi-family properties. Mubadala, whose sole shareholder is the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, develops and manages a diverse portfolio of commercial initiatives–from the real estate industry to the aerospace sector–independently and in joint ventures with international organizations.