Lane Hotels deals for capital infusion

AWH Partners LLC has announced a joint venture to purchase Lane Hotels Inc., as well as individual hotels owned by Lane Hospitality LLC, for an undisclosed price.

The purchase by AWH Partners, formed by August Group Ventures LLC and Winston Harton Holdings LLC, is part of an ongoing joint venture with an institutional equity source designed to pursue additional hospitality investments.

“With the infusion of capital we are contributing through AWH Partners, the recapitalization of Lane Hotels will bring a renewed focus on portfolio growth while continuing to deliver a high caliber of service to Lane’s existing clients,” said Chad Cooley, president of August Group Ventures.

“We are confident that this high-quality portfolio will further flourish under the hands-on asset management skills we bring to the table,” said Jon Rosenfeld, owner and co-founder of Winston Harton Holdings. “The purchase of Lane Hospitality presents an attractive opportunity for us to continue expanding our presence in the hospitality investment area.”

Lane Hotels, based in Northbrook, Illinois, is an affiliate of Lane Industries and the third-party operator of hotels across brands such as Hilton Worldwide, IHG and Marriott International.

“Our partnership with AWH positions us incredibly well to grow our platform rapidly through expanding our service offerings and acquiring new management contracts, while continuing to provide world-class service to our existing clients,” said Bill DeForrest, president and chief executive officer of Lane Hotels.

DeForrest told HOTELS that this transaction serves to meet the goal of the Lane family, which has owned the company since its inception 30 years ago, to divest of commonly held family assets. He added that the deal also sends a signal to the marketplace that Lane has renewed stability as a management company.

DeForrest said Lane has two or three active deals right now and will likely continue to focus on working with the major brands in secondary markets and suburban markets of major cities.

“This stabilizes our management platform and gives us renewed ability to invest capital in acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures, as well as grow our third-party business,” DeForrest said. “The uncertainty of ownership didn’t allow us to grow as much over the past five years as an owner or operator. Now we have the platform to do both.”

The acquisition of Lane Hotels signals the first of many purchases from AWH Partners’ ongoing joint venture with an institutional equity source for the pursuit of hospitality investments. The seasoned team of August Group Ventures and Winston Harton Holdings bring extensive experience in hospitality investment, development and management.

Russ Flicker, managing partner of Winston Harton Holdings, told HOTELS on Tuesday that AWH and Lane will be looking at multiple options for investment, including portfolio acquisitions on both the note and equity side.

Exterior of Crowne Plaza Milwaukee West, part of the Lane portfolio
Exterior of Crowne Plaza Milwaukee West, part of the Lane portfolio