Sonesta International Hotels Corporation to Acquire RLH Corporation, Creating One of The World’s Largest Hotel Companies With Diversified Brands Across Multiple Market Segments

USA, Newton, Massachusetts. February 11, 2021

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation (Sonesta) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire RLH Corporation (NYSE: RLH). RLH is the 10th-largest U.S.-based hotel franchise company with more than 900 hotels. After the closing of the transaction, Sonesta will become one of the largest hotel companies in the U.S. with approximately 1,200 hotels in diversified brands across multiple market segments. Sonesta also announced that upon closing of this transaction, 35-year hotel industry veteran Keith Pierce will be joining Sonesta as Executive Vice President, President of Franchise & Development.

Carlos Flores, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sonesta, made the following statement regarding today's announcement:

"Sonesta started 2020 as a manager of 58 hotels under three Sonesta-specific brands in the U.S. Upon the completion of hotel conversions previously announced and the acquisition of RLH, Sonesta will become one of the largest hotel companies in the U.S., with approximately 1,200 hotels under a diverse set of 13 brands in multiple market segments. Whereas all of Sonesta's hotels in the U.S. are currently self-managed, the acquisition of RLH significantly accelerates Sonesta's hotel franchising capabilities by adding a franchise platform with more than 900 hotels. With the addition of Keith to our leadership team, we also have an experienced executive ready to manage the RLH business upon closing this transaction and we are well positioned to grow Sonesta's franchising business in the future."

Keith Pierce joins Sonesta with more than 35 years' experience across the hospitality industry. He served most recently as President and Managing Partner of the Passionality Group, a hospitality investment and management advisory firm. Prior to that, he worked at Wyndham Worldwide, where he was Executive Vice President, Brand Operations for North America, and before that, President of Hotel Brand Operations for the Americas, and Group President for Hotels at Wyndham's predecessor company, Cendant Corporation.

Keith Pierce made the following statement regarding the announcement:

"I am looking forward to welcoming RLH franchisees to Sonesta at this dynamic and promising moment in the company's growth. I also look forward to working closely with the RLH franchising community and building on the strong foundation RLH has created. I believe Sonesta is currently one of the industry's most exciting, forward-looking hotel companies. I look forward to helping propel the growth of Sonesta and working closely with the leadership team to continue building a world class hotel company."

The acquisition of RLH is currently expected to close in the first half of 2021 and it is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of RLH's shareholders. Sonesta expects to fund this transaction with cash-on-hand and/or through capital contributions from its shareholders. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is serving as legal counsel to Sonesta for this transaction.

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Guest Service: Health and Safety First

Though expectations are that hotels will return to some semblance of normalcy in 2021, their highest priority must continue to be the health and safety of guests and employees. To that end, hotels are training their guest service personnel in enhanced cleaning routines, which include the following practices - bathrooms, elevator buttons, remote controls and other high-touch items, are disinfected and cleaned with a higher frequency; all tables, chairs and menus in restaurants are cleaned at a much higher frequency, and after each seating; floor markers in public areas to remind guests and team members to maintain physical distance; hand alcohol stations and disposable gloves in lobbies and restaurants; loose items such as pens, note pads and information material removed from rooms and meeting rooms; limiting the number of seats in restaurants and public areas; and revised food & beverage offerings. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will review how guest service personnel are being trained to maintain health and safety protocols in their operations.