Global hospitality company Benchmark and its capital partner, Gencom, have made a strategic investment in etc.venues, a U.K.-based company that operates non-residential day-meeting venues, the companies announced today. The deal -- which gives Benchmark a stake in etc.venues' 15 properties in London, Birmingham, and Manchester, England -- substantially expands Benchmark's global footprint, which now includes 80 properties in North America, the Caribbean, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
"The combination of hospitality and award-winning workplace services, spanning three continents and focused on hotel and office real estate investments, is truly unique in the industry," said Benchmark CEO Alex Cabañas. "Benchmark's leadership in group sales and in delivering exceptional meeting experiences aligns perfectly with etc.venues' sophisticated meetings and events space in the U.K. market."
According to Benchmark, etc.venues' properties are known in the United Kingdom for their "stylish contemporary design, technical expertise, outstanding business services, and premier food and beverage focus" -- assets that the company hopes to export to the United States with help from Benchmark's investment.
"This is a winning combination," said etc.venues Managing Director Alastair Stewart. "Benchmark will be perfectly positioned to pursue hotel management business in Europe, while etc.venues will have the financial, sales and marketing, and operational support it needs to establish new venues in the U.S."
Added Cabañas, "U.S. expansion of etc.venues is a key part of the strategy. Benchmark is evaluating gateway cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and others. We will look to further growth opportunities in Europe for our management, operational, and asset management services."