TORONTO—Shifting from its usual focus on the “four core” realestate investments, Brookfield Asset Managementhas made its foray into the lodging sector with its just-announcedacquisition of Thayer Lodging Group Inc. The hotelinvestment company will now operate as a subsidiary of locallybased Brookfield, continuing to focus on investment management,asset management and property management businesses. The value ofthe transaction was not disclosed.

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Thayer president Bruce Wiles will continue torun the operations and oversee employees. Leland C.Pillsbury and Fred V. Malek, Thayer'sco-founders and chairmen, will serve as co-chairmen & co-headsof Global Lodging of the new company and as senior advisors toBrookfield. In all, some 20 Thayer employees will be taken intoBrookfield's fold.

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Pillsbury calls the deal “the capstone of a quarter-century ofgrowth and a clear signal that the best days for investing inglobal hotel real estate are yet ahead.” In Brookfield, he adds,“we have found a partner that shares our optimistic view of theacquisition market for full-service hotels in major marketsworldwide, and provides access to an ongoing source ofcapital.”

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While Annapolis, MD-based Thayer now has Brookfield's financialbacking, the transaction gives Brookfield a hotel investmentmanagement business built on 25 years of success. Since forming itsfirst private equity fund more than two decades ago, Thayercompleted 43 hotel investments with a total acquisition cost ofapproximately $2.5 billion. Notably, Thayer formed a joint venture10 years ago with Jin Jiang Group, China's largesthotel and hospitality company, and in 2010 the duo acquiredInterstate Hotels and Resorts. It was the largestthird-party, independent hotel manager in the word, with some27,000 employees, 400 hotels, annual sales of over $2.7 billion and$10 billion of assets under management in Europe, Asia and theUS.

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The deal combines two firms with similar investment objectives,management approaches and a common outlook on the global realestate market, relates Malek. “We're pleased that Brookfield seesin Thayer a portal to attractive real estate investmentopportunities, a proven value-added operating partner and aprofitable operating platform.” As for Thayer, expect to seebusiness as usual—“acquire hotel real estate below replacementcost, and aggressively increase NOI by increasing market share,managing channels of distribution and controlling costs."

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Brookfield and Thayer representatives did not respond to queriesby press time. Watch GlobeSt.com for an update onthis story.

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Sule Aygoren

Aygoren oversees the editorial direction and content for ALM’s Real Estate Media Group, including Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. In her tenure with ALM, she’s held roles of increasing responsibility, including Managing Editor. Aygoren has received several awards for her coverage including Best Trade Magazine Report from the National Association of Real Estate Editors and the James D. Carper Award for Young Journalists. Under her direction, Forum has received four national NAREE awards for Best Commercial Real Estate Trade Magazine.