Horst Schulze, who founded Capella Hotel Group in 2002, has sold the company to Singapore’s Kwee family, with whom he has had a relationship with since his Ritz-Carlton days and created a 2006 joint venture to expand the group in Asia through Capella Hotel Group Asia.
The Kwee family owns Pontiac Land Group in Singapore, a real estate development firm whose assets include the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, Conrad Centennial Singapore, Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel, and Capella Singapore. The transaction is between Schulze and the Kwee family members, not Pontiac Land. The terms and financial details will not be revealed.
Schulze will remain on board as chairman emeritus while Nicholas Clayton, who worked with Ritz-Carlton for 13 years during Schulze’s tenure as CEO, has been appointed CEO of Capella Hotel Group. Capella, which today has seven hotels open (five Capella, two Solis), will now be headquartered in Singapore.
According to Schulze, a number of parties had approached him, particularly the large hotel brands. “I know what they will do; they will take the heart out of what it is. I was scared Capella would go the same direction as them,” he said
The acquisition comes as the group, which operates three brands, Capella Hotels & Resorts, Solis Hotels & Resorts and Auriga Spa, is finally gaining traction with its expansion, especially in its new backyard, the Asia Pacific region.
A new Capella hotel in Shanghai just opened, joining operation in Dusseldorf, Ixtapa, Singapore and Marigot Bay. Capella hotels are being built in Bali, Bangkok, the Maldives and Sydney, all to be opened by 2020.
Solis hotels are under construction in Bali, Guangzhou, China and Atlanta, joining two currently in operation.
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