Brookfield Asset Management, Inc. Acquires Thayer Lodging Group

NEW YORK—Privately held Thayer Lodging Group, Inc. has been acquired by Toronto, Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management, Inc., a publicly traded company with more than $175 billion in assets under management across a variety of sectors, notably infrastructure, private equity, property and renewable energy.

Neither the acquisition price nor the deal structure was disclosed.

Thayer founders and co-chairmen Frederic V. Malek and Leland  C. “Lee” Pillsbury, who also serves as CEO, will helm “global lodging” as their company transitions to Thayer Lodging Group, A Brookfield Company. The duo, who established Thayer Lodging in 1989, will reprise their co-chairman positions within the repositioned entity and also serve as senior advisors to their new parent, whose business history dates back to 1899.

Thayer Lodging Group COO Bruce Wiles will remain with the company, which will continue to operate from its current headquarters in Annapolis, MD.

With the deal, Brookfield Asset Management acquires, and the new subsidiary will operate, Thayer’s asset management, investment management and property management businesses.

“We’re very proud of the track record that we’ve built. We believe very much in the value-add strategy as does Brookfield and we are convinced that we’re going to see great investment opportunities going forward,” Pillsbury told Hotel Business.

Thayer also has had a relationship and business interest in China since 2004, when it formed a joint venture with Jin Jiang Group, reportedly the country’s largest hotel/hospitality company. In 2010, the JV acquired mega-management company Interstate Hotels & Resorts, which third-party manages some $10 billion of assets represented by approximately 400 hotels worldwide.

“They share our enthusiasm. They see the new Thayer with the Brookfield relationship being a much stronger, much larger partner with global investment capabilities that can partner with them as they look to expand their business both in China and internationally,” said Pillsbury.

The executive also felt the Brookfield relationship would give Thayer the opportunity to look at investments on a “much broader, much larger basis” than in the past.

“That last part is a very important one,” said Malek. “As part of this transaction, Brookfield will be doubling the size of our current fund, which is Thayer Fund VI. They will match what is already in the fund and this will allow us to do larger transactions.”

Brookfield Asset Management, which is headed by CEO Bruce Flatt, is no stranger to lodging. Among its assets, either directly or via an affiliate, are Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Vegas, Atlantis Paradise Island and a collection of hotels in Australia that it owns following a $410 million takeover of Sydney-based Thakral Holdings in 2012.
—Stefani C. O’Connor