Ron Burkle says he will “go thermonuclear” on Sydell CEO: lawsuit

Andrew Zobler claims billionaire investor tried to oust him from hotel JV

New York /
Sep.September 26, 2017 04:30 PM

UPDATED, 12:10 p.m., Sept. 27: The industry may have its very own “rocket man.”

Billionaire investor Ron Burkle threatened to “crush” and “go thermonuclear” on Sydell Holdings’ Andrew Zobler if he refused to step down as CEO of their joint venture, the hotel developer alleges in a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court Tuesday.

Sydell claims Burkle’s alleged attempts to oust Zobler and install a handpicked successor violate their joint-venture agreement and seeks “preliminary injunctive relief” to block the move.

According to the complaint, Sydell and Burkle’s Yucaipa U.S. Hospitality Partners signed a joint venture agreement in September 2011, installing Zobler as CEO. But in recent years, Burkle pushed to replace Zobler with Jeffrey Gault and tried to demote Zobler to the role of “Chairman and Chief Creative Officer.”

During a Sept. 25 meeting, Burkle allegedly told Zobler that the switch was “not a negotiation” and that he would “go thermonuclear” and launch several lawsuits if he refused to go along with it.

A spokesperson for Yucaipa said Zobler “did a good job of managing the first few hotels owned by Ron Burkle and Yucaipa, but became overwhelmed by the growth over the last few years. Mr. Zobler had recently agreed that it was time for him to step down as CEO and focus on what he is good at by becoming Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, but apparently decided instead to file these claims, which will be proven in court to be without merit.”

In New York, Sydell is best known for developing the NoMad hotel in partnership with Yucaipa.

This story was updated to include a statement from Yucaipa.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Carpenter & Company's Richard Friedman and 2 Canal Street in New Orleans (Carpenter & Company, Google Maps)
New Orleans Four Seasons lands $315M loan from Madison Realty Capital
New Orleans Four Seasons lands $315M loan from Madison Realty Capital
HUBB’s John McCarthy, Greystone's Thomas Ryan and 223-225 4th Avenue (Google Maps, Greystone, Getty)
HUBB NYC continues 421a spending spree, buying Park Slope building
HUBB NYC continues 421a spending spree, buying Park Slope building
120 East 39th Street (Hotels, Getty)
Short-term rental company taking over Midtown hotel
Short-term rental company taking over Midtown hotel
One Soho Square with Stellar Management’s Larry Gluck and Yotpo CEO Tomer Tagrin (LoopNet, Twitter, Gluck Family Foundation)
Yotpo inks 30K sf sublease at Stellar’s One Soho Square
Yotpo inks 30K sf sublease at Stellar’s One Soho Square
From left: Landlord Steve Croman and White Horse Tavern owner Eytan Sugarman along with the White Horse Tavern at 567 Hudson Street (Getty Images, Google Maps, Instagram/boyfromnewyorkcity)
Croman sues White Horse Tavern owner for $650K back rent
Croman sues White Horse Tavern owner for $650K back rent
Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzman and 8 Spruce Street (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty Images and Twitter/AAsArchitecture)
Blackstone’s 8 Spruce sues tenant over alleged pop-up restaurant
Blackstone’s 8 Spruce sues tenant over alleged pop-up restaurant
A photo illustration of Tishman Speyer CEO Rob Speyer and 28-10 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City (Getty Images, Tishman Speyer, Google Maps)
LIC tenant claims Tishman Speyer violated rent stabilization
LIC tenant claims Tishman Speyer violated rent stabilization
A photo illustration of Nir Meir (Getty Images)
HFZ investor wants Nir Meir held in contempt
HFZ investor wants Nir Meir held in contempt
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...