East, West Coast Hotel Companies Merge to Form Mega Boutique Brand

The West Coast's leading boutique hotel company, San Francisco-based Joie de Vivre Hospitality, has merged with Thompson Hotels — a New York-based collection of 12 lifestyle hotels in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Miami, Toronto and Washington, D.C. — to create a new multi-brand lifestyle hotel group, provisionally called JT Hospitality, the two companies announced this week.

Equal partners in the merger, Thompson and Joie de Vivre will combine their hotel-management operations and brands, but not their real estate assets. The result will be a joint collection of 45 properties with combined annual revenues of approximately $500 million.

Based in New York, JT Hospitality will be led by Thompson Hotels CEO and Co-owner Stephen Brandman, who has been named CEO of the new group. Hospitality veteran John Pritzker, whose private equity firm Geolo Capital acquired a majority stake in Joie de Vivre last year, will serve as co-chairman alongside Thompson Hotels Co-owner Jason Pomeranc.

"Fifteen months ago we said we would leverage our hospitality platform to nearly double Joie de Vivre's annual revenues and the number of hotels in the collection within five years," Pritzker said. "By merging with Thompson Hotels we are on track to reach that goal well ahead of schedule. More importantly, the merger will accelerate the growth of both brands, which will benefit from significant capital resources, greater distribution, economies of scale, and collective expertise."

Added Pomeranc, "It's exciting to take on the challenge with John of formulating the strategic vision and direction for the new company. We will be able to take the sensibilities and cultures of the two brands and spread them across different sectors and offer more accessibility with the various price points. Our owners will get the benefits of working with a bigger brand but still get the individuality of an independent."

JT Hospitality — which will be formally renamed next year, after completing a comprehensive joint branding exercise that is currently underway — plans to expand both the Thompson and Joie de Vivre brands domestically and internationally. Additionally, it intends to introduce a new resort brand.

"I look forward to working with the Joie de Vivre team," Brandman said. "We will be bringing the two businesses together and intend to be fully integrated within the next three to six months."