By Claire Valdini
Capital raised would be for hotels in 50 markets including Dubai, says executive
Florida-based Hard Rock International is in talks with investors to raise US$250m to expand its hotel business in new markets, including Dubai, its executive vice president has said.
The firm, which operates hotels, casinos and themed bars, said the money would provide funding for expansion in 50 markets including London, Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai, Michael Shindler said in an interview with Bloomberg.
“We can go to cities that we feel are important to the strategic growth of the hotel platform,” said Shindler. “Without the capital, some of the deal opportunities that might come to us might not be precisely in the market that we want to be in.”
Discussions are focused on creating a fund in which it would be a partial investor and the capital raised would help Hard Rock International borrow against the fund’s assets, said Shindler.
Hard Rock International in June signed a deal with Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Properties for the development and management of Hard Rock Hotel Abu Dhabi. The 378-room hotel will mark the brand’s entry into the Middle East.
The Hard Rock business, which operates 15 properties worldwide, had earlier said in 2007 it would roll out hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but the plan was put on ice due to the global downturn.