Purchase of Marriott Munich Paves Way for JER’s Entrée into Germany

McLean, Va.-based JER Partners has made its first move in Germany with the acquisition of the 348-room Marriott Munich hotel from Marriott Internatioanal, which had acquired the four-star property from Blackstone Group L.P. in 2005.  Built in 1990 the Marriott Munich (pictured) sits near Parkstadt Schwabing within close proximity to the Munich city center. The seven-story structure encompasses 9,300 square feet of meeting space, three restaurants and a fitness facility. JER’s purchase of the hotel marks the third time the property has changed hands in the last five years; Blackstone had purchased the hotel in 2003 before selling it to Marriott two years later. International real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle advised Marriott in the sale of the Marriott Munich to JER.  With strong economic growth and an increased interest among tourists as a result of the country’s successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2006, Germany’s hotel market is doing well and is on target to perform even better. Munich, in particular, is thriving, according to a HotelBenchmark Survey published by Deloitte in mid-November. Hotel RevPAR in the city from the close of the third quarter of 2006 to the close of the third quarter of 2007 jumped 6.1 percent, and occupancy levels rose by 3.7 percent.  In an effort to capitalize on the growing demand for rooms in Munich, JER plans to renovate and reposition the Marriott Munich over the next few years. Other hotel companies have begun turning their attention to the city, as well. Last fall Sir Rocco Forte opened the five-star Charles Hotel at a cost of $87 million, bringing 160 rooms to a market that has–despite demand–seen little growth in hotel room accommodations.  JER is a private equity investment company operating as an entity of real estate investment management firm J.E. Robert Cos. Presently, JER Partners’ portfolio encompasses approximately 200 hotels accounting for an aggregate 25,000 guestrooms. Abroad, the company has made a few major moves over the last year through its JER Europe Fund III with the acquisition of a 50 percent stake in Swiss hotel chain Manotel in early 2007, and the purchase of U.K.-headquartered limited service hotel operating company Morethanhotels in October.