The Real Deal Miami

George Soros invests in Latin American hotel market

The billionaire invested $300 million to fund expansion by Argentina-based Fens Hotels

November 21, 2015 12:00PM

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George Soros

George Soros

An investment firm headed by Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros agreed to invest $300 million to finance an Argentine hotel company’s expansion in Latin America.

Soros’ investment will provide funding for as many as 5,000 new hotel room over a three-year period in Argentina and other South American countries including Chile, Ecuador and Peru that Buenos Aires-based Fen Hotels will manage.

Patricio Fuks, chief executive of Fen Hotels, told the Wall Street Journal that “you can still build for a reasonable price in Latin America’s capital cities.”

Fen Hotels already has 35 hotels in Latin America, making it a major operator in a markets where competitors ten to be family-owned and family-operated businesses, and hotels that bear leading global brands are scarce.

Fen Hotels also is establishing a foothold in the U.S. hotel market with properties in Miami and Los Angeles and a Brooklyn property operating under its Dazzler brand.

But Fuks told the Journal he sees better potential for his company in South American countries, with the exception of Brazil, the most populous country in region: “Brazil is too expensive to develop there. But if it turns around, the other countries will follow.” [Wall Street Journal] — Mike Seemuth