AccorHotels is acquiring 85 per cent of 21c Museum Hotels in the US for US$51 million, a deal that will see the latter come under the MGallery collection of boutique hotels and mark the brand’s entry into the North American market.
Scheduled to be completed in 3Q2018, the deal includes a potential earn out payment, and excludes real estate.
Founded in 2006 by philanthropists and contemporary art collectors Laura Brown and Steve Wilson, 21c combines a multi-venue contemporary art museum, boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants, with 11 properties currently open or under development in the US.
Kevin Frid, COO, North & Central America, AccorHotels, said the acquisition “(strengthens) the group’s footprint in North America in a very unique and promising niche”.
Co-founders Laura Lee Brown & Steve Wilson will retain a 15 per cent stake in the company, and remain closely involved in providing creative guidance and support of the combination of art, design and hospitality concept.
21c Museum Hotels will continue to be led by president & CEO Craig Greenberg, and the corporate headquarters will remain in Louisville, Kentucky.
Inspired by the idea that art can ignite urban revitalisation and catalyse civic connection, Brown and Wilson had rehabilitated a series of 19th century warehouses in Louisville’s downtown arts and theatre district to open the first 21c Museum Hotel.
Today the company operates eight 21c properties in Bentonville, Cincinnati, Durham, Kansas City, Lexington, Louisville, Nashville and Oklahoma City, with three more in development in Des Moines, Miami and Chicago. 21c Museum is one of the largest contemporary art museums in the US and North America’s only collecting museum dedicated solely to art of the 21st century.