The Real Deal New York

HK-backed InnVest Hotels searching for US assets to escape “frothy” Canadian market

InnVest bought the former Trump hotel in Toronto last year for an undisclosed amount
July 08, 2018 05:30PM

(Credit: Nick Youngson)

One of Canada’s largest hotel companies backed by Chinese capital is looking for an opportunity to buy south of the border.

InnVest Hotels LP is interested in breaking into Seattle, Boston and Chicago–not New York or San Francisco due to cost, according to Jeff Hyslop, InnVest’s senior vice president of asset management, who spoke with Bloomberg about the firm’s plans.

“We’ll be cautious in our first foray into the U.S. to make sure it’s the right market, right asset, right partner,” Hyslop told Bloomberg. He described Canada’s strong hospitality market as starting to grow “frothy,” prompting the firm to look at U.S. properties.

InnVest owns a portfolio of 80 properties in Canada that are operated by Marriott, Fairmont and Holiday Inn, among others. The company bought the Toronto Trump International Hotel & Tower for an undisclosed amount last year and is rebranding the property as a St. Regis. The Trump Organization had licensed the property to JCF Capital and operated the hotel prior to JCF’s deal with InnVest, according to the Toronto Star.

The company’s relationship with its current owner, Bluesky Hotels and Resorts Inc., began in 2016 when InnVest REIT was bought by Bluesky, a Canadian-based, Hong Kong capital-fueled company, for $1.6 billion. Bluesky president and chief executive Li Chen released a statement at the time saying, “This transaction is an investment that will establish a global platform from which Bluesky will continue to pursue growth opportunities in North America.” [Bloomberg]Erin Hudson