Dutch developer welcomes DACH operator into the fold

by | 14 Oct 2022 | Portfolio

Amsterdam-headquartered Borealis Hotel Group has acquired DACH region hotel operator Bierwirth & Kluth Hotel Management (B&K).

Borealis believes B&K’s strong regional footprint represents a meaningful strategic addition to its current international portfolio.

The pair feel they have complementary hotel portfolios and that this consolidation creates a sizeable, pan-European player with a solid footprint across the region, that is ready to capture the various growth opportunities the hospitality sector has to offer.

Company backgrounds

Founded in 1998 by Peter Bierwirth and Klaus Kluth, B&K has evolved to one of the top five white-label hotel owner-operators in Germany, with preferred franchise partnerships with major brands including Marriott and IHG. B&K is also a player in serviced apartments, launching its My4walls concept in Hamburg in 2017, which is seeing continued success and expansion to other locations.

Borealis operates a portfolio of economy, mid-, upscale, and extended stay hotels in key European markets, together with major brands such as IHG, Hilton, Marriott, Accor and Hyatt. The company has pursued a successful pan-European expansion strategy, developing hotels across Europe, and targeting strategic M&A opportunities as it continues to build its portfolio. In 2019, Borealis welcomed investor Three Hills Capital Partners (THCP) as a hands-on financial partner to support the platform’s rapid expansion and capitalise on the extensive pipeline of opportunities.

Additional investor

Parallel to the acquisition, Atlantic Park Strategic Capital Fund, a joint venture between General Atlantic and Iron Park Capital Partners, has joined Borealis’ shareholder structure, alongside THCP and the founders. In connection with this transaction, Matthew Bonanno, MD at Atlantic Park, and Varun Bahri, MD at Iron Park Capital Partners, have joined Borealis’ board of directors.

The addition of Atlantic Park as an investor is intended to bring additional resources and expertise to complement THCP’s extensive support. The new partnership is aimed at helping to propel future expansion, providing the business with further capital for both organic and inorganic growth opportunities.

Joint potential

Borealis’ partner and co-founder Lodewijk van der Meulen commented: “The first contact with B&K regarding a potential collaboration goes back to 2020, at which time the similarities and joint potential of Borealis and B&K were already evident. We are delighted to have closed the transaction and look forward to addressing new potential developments in the DACH region and Europe.”

Pieter Moll, head of corporate development, added: “At Borealis we are continuously looking for opportunities where we can add value for all parties involved. With teams like B&K, THCP and AP, which share our values, intense transactions like these become enjoyable, which is a great prelude for an exciting future ahead.”

Continuing expansion

Bart van de Kamp, CEO and founder of Borealis Hotel Group, said: “We’re excited to bring B&K into our group at this important milestone in our journey. Together with our new colleagues at B&K, we will work towards our vision of bringing our hospitality passion and experiences to more customers across the continent.

“We are also delighted that Atlantic Park has decided to join us as a strong partner, which further demonstrates the value of our management team, colleagues and platform. Next to that we are grateful that THCP will continue to support us, after successfully navigating us through covid and, together with AP, continue to provide the resource and knowledge to continue our expansion and growth.”

Strong in development

Peter Bierwirth and Klaus Kluth at Bierwirth & Kluth said: “B&K has been looking for a strong and reliable partner for several months, which will enable us to continue our growth, secure the future in a sustainable way and steer the B&K ship into more stable waters after the disruption of the pandemic.

“Borealis convinced us from an overall perspective and is an excellent fit for us for many reasons. It is strong in the development of hotels and has positioned itself optimally for the future. Like us, it sees itself as an expert in the hotel industry, is characterised by a good corporate culture and has a strong financial backbone. We are two companies of similar size, both known in particular as franchisees of international hotel brands and with a common vision to grow across Europe in the future.”

Borealis is due to manage several upcoming European hotels including Motto by Hilton Rotterdam Blaak in the Netherlands, Staybridge Suites Malaga in Spain, Holiday Inn Express Rome Airport in Italy, Holiday Inn Express Budapest City Centre in Hungary and ibis styles Orestad Copenhagen in Denmark.

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