IT’S OFFICIAL: SBE AND MORGANS HOTEL GROUP ARE NOW ONE
Back in May we told you that sbe were set to acquire Morgans Hotel Group in 2016; now, after a long and winding road it appears that the merger to make sbe the world’s leading global lifestyle hospitality brand is a done deal, valued at a staggering $805 million.
In a suitably cinematic trailer (directed by Matthew Rolston) that we are LOVING here at LE HQ, sbe’s Founder and CEO Sam Nazarian is joined by a host of familiar faces from the Morgans and sbe stables to announce the merger. Taking us back to the early days of Morgans when it was the definitive disruptive force in the hospitality industry, Nazarian recalls: “I came up in this business really identifying with Morgans and these properties as the benchmark…I remember walking into those properties. I remember how they made me feel…sometimes you have to pinch yourself.”
We’re sure Nazarian really is living his hospitality dream, with the acquisition bringing the sbe portfolio up to 22 hotels and 129 venues worldwide and encompassing the six big-name hospitality brands of SLS Hotels, HYDE Hotels, The Redbury, Delano Hotels, Mondrian Hotels, and of course, the Morgans originals (Hudson, Clift, Morgans, Royalton, Sanderson et al). And when it comes to the future of sbe, Nazarian is dreaming even bigger with plans for creative collaborations and international expansion on the horizon.
Listing the “human capital” of both companies – an impressive roll call of names including José Andres, Lenny Kravitz, Frank Gehry, Katsuya Uechi, David Rockwell, Yabu Pushelberg and more – Nazarian also mentions that the merger is “an incredible opportunity to bring Philippe Starck back into some of the assets that he created”. We can’t wait to see what a 21st-century reimagining of some of the existing properties might look like…
However the future pans out, it’s a big day for the boutique/lifestyle/[INSERT NEXT-GEN MONIKER] hospitality industry. We’ll leave the final words to Nazarian: “Our stage is the world. Our moment is now.”