Ace Hotel snapped up by ambitious hospitality group

Rendering of the upcoming Ace Hotel Denver.
Hospitality brand owner Sortis Holdings has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ace Group International, along with its management company, Atelier Ace.

The Ace Hotel brand will now become part of the Portland, USA-headquartered Sortis group, which aims to double its hotel footprint by 2025.

Major deal

The US$85 million all-cash transaction is expected to close at the end of Q1 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.

Sortis’ hospitality partner Kelly Sawdon led the acquisition. Prior to joining Sortis in 2021, she was a partner at the Ace Hotel Group and has been a key player in the Ace Hotel brand since shortly after its inception in Seattle, USA, in 1999.

Strategic additions

Sortis believes that its experience in hospitality brand development makes it poised to amplify Ace Hotel as a series of spirited cultural hubs that ignite neighbourhoods and foster collaboration.

The acquisition of the Ace Group International includes 12 hotels – 10 Ace Hotel properties in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Seattle, Kyoto, Sydney, New York and beyond as well as hospitality brands Sister City and Maison de la Luz.

These strategic additions build upon Sortis Holdings’ existing hospitality portfolio, which includes the Ace Hotel Portland, Woodlark Hotel in Portland, Mayflower Park in Seattle, the Alum brand, and several hotels under development including Hollywood, Seattle, Nashville and Carpinteria. The combined entity of Ace Group International and Sortis Holdings will have 15 hotels under management and a robust pipeline, including Ace Hotel Denver, which is a planned conversion of Cathedral High School and adjacent Sisters of Charity convent. The 17 key site is due to complete in 2024.

Next growth chapter

Paul Brenneke, executive chairman of Sortis, said: “The Sortis platform is rooted in innovation, purpose, and impact, and aims to foster consumer brands that are at the forefront of culture. Our acquisition of the storied Ace Hotel brand, long known for embodying and celebrating the unique culture of each of its destinations worldwide provides us with an opportunity to advance this vision by scaling the legacy brand in a thoughtful way.” 

Sortis’ Sawdon added: “From the very beginning, Ace has had evolution built into its DNA. This acquisition marks an exciting turning point for the brand — tapping some original key players to usher in Ace’s next chapter of growth. Armed with a team that boasts nearly two decades of experience with the brand, Sortis can help evolve Ace’s position as the hospitality powerhouse it has always been, synonymous with community, creativity and culture.”