A Consortium led by IFA Hotels & Resorts and Kuwait Real Estate Co. Closes US$315 Million Deal for Largest Hotel to Open in NYC This Year

YOTEL Transaction Marks the Second Major Funding Deal for IFA HR in 6 Months

DUBAI, UAE, June 6, 2011 /CNW/ - International developer IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA HR) announced today that the Consortium comprising IFA HR, Kuwait Real Estate Company (KREC) and United Investments Portugal (UIP) has simultaneously closed a financing and acquisition deal valued at US$315 million for its YOTEL New York property.

Talal Jassim Al-Bahar, Vice Chairman and CEO of IFA HR stated: "This is the second funding transaction we have closed in the last six months. Securing these deals - both with foreign lenders - goes to show that despite tough market conditions, the right project in the right location with the right sponsor will attract the necessary capital."

The financing for YOTEL, worth US$240 million, was led by Atrium Holding Company, a private investment vehicle based in the United States, with co-funding by Centerbridge Partners, L.P., an investment firm. The acquisition of the property from Related Company, the overall project developer, happened simultaneously with the financing - bringing the total value of the transaction to US$315 million. The deal marks the latest major contract linking GCC-based investors to the Big Apple with Fosterlane Management Company, an arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority, purchasing the former Morgan Stanley headquarters just last month.

"We are pleased with our investment in YOTEL. This comes as a part of KREC's strategy to expand its investments geographically while focusing on income-generating real estate to ensure maximum profit for both the company and its shareholders" said Ibrahim Saleh Al-Therban, Vice Chairman & Managing Director of Kuwait Real Estate Company.

The 669-room YOTEL welcomed its first guests on June 3rd and is the largest hotel opening in the city this year. Part of Related Company's 1.2 million square foot, 60-storey LEED-Silver complex, YOTEL has the benefit of an enviable address at West 42nd Street and 10th Avenue in Times Square.

For IFA HR, the opening of YOTEL New York marks a major milestone in its investment in the brand. As the first site outside of an airport and the largest YOTEL by far, its design will act as a blueprint for future city centre locations.

Joe Sita, President of IFA Hotel Investments, which is the appointed Asset Manager of the YOTEL NYC property, added: "We believe that YOTEL New York represents the future of the hotel industry and we have found experienced, flexible and creative hotel investors who see the same potential for its tremendous success that we do. Everything about this hotel, from its LEED-certified engineering and ergonomic workstations to the way luggage stores perfectly under the bed has been painstakingly designed with our guests' convenience and comfort in mind. It is the pinnacle of affordable luxury."

Guests arriving at YOTEL New York will check-in at airline style kiosks and find everything a luxury hotel can offer ingeniously designed in less than 200 sqft. Premium cabins are equipped with a space-saving motorised moving bed; monsoon shower; Technowall with TV, music and power services; a workstation and free super-strength Wi-Fi. Adding to the luxury, YOTEL'S 18 First Class Cabins and 3 VIP 2-Cabin Suites offer private outdoor terraces and hot tubs. All guests enjoy a complimentary breakfast during their stay and access to New York's largest outdoor hotel space.

Al-Bahar concluded: "From a financial perspective, we anticipate significant returns on our investment in YOTEL New York. From an industry perspective, we hope this transaction serves to further boost banks' and investors' confidence that there are still strategic opportunities available in the hospitality market - YOTEL is certainly one of them."

About IFA Hotels & Resorts

IFA HR is a leader in the development of mixed-use hotel and residential resort projects throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Asia and North America.

Listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of US$1 billion, and also on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, IFA Hotels & Resorts' main shareholder is Kuwait based International Financial Advisors (IFA).

With a proven track record of delivering integrated resorts through international hotel brands, IFA HR is one of the few global real estate developers that have demonstrated the ability to sell, develop and asset manage the full range of real estate vacation products to an international audience. http://www.ifahotelsresorts.com


YOTEL New York was designed in collaboration by The Rockwell Group and Softroom. Bookings can now be made on http://www.yotel.com for stays from 15 June, with rates from just US$149. Friends of YOTEL signing up to facebook.com/YOTELHQ and/or following them on twitter @YOTELHQ can look forward to additional special offers. A 3D walkthrough of the hotel is available at http://www.youtube.com/yotel.

About Atrium Holding Company

Atrium is a private investment vehicle based in Scottsdale, Arizona, specializing in opportunistic investments primarily in the real estate and hospitality industries. Atrium is an active acquirer and originator of both senior and junior loans secured by hotels and, through its affiliates, is one of the largest private owners of hotels in the United States, operated primarily under the Embassy Suites, Marriott, Renaissance, and Hilton brand names.

About Centerbridge Partners

Centerbridge Partners, L.P. is a private investment firm based in New York City and currently has approximately $17 billion in capital under management. The firm focuses on private equity and credit investments. The firm is dedicated to partnering with world-class management teams across targeted industry sectors to help companies achieve their operating and financial objectives.


YOTEL was created by YO! founder Simon Woodroffe and YOTEL CEO Gerard Greene. The idea was conceived by Simon after he was upgraded to first class on a flight. He decided to translate the language of luxury airline travel and Japanese capsule hotels into a small but luxurious cabin. YOTEL launched as a revolutionary hotel concept in the summer of 2007, with its first location inside London's Gatwick South terminal.

In December 2007, the brand opened its second airport location inside London's Heathrow Airport Terminal 4, followed by its third location in the airside transit area at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam in September of 2008. Supported by IFA Hotels and Resorts, YOTEL's CEO, Gerard Greene, leads an experienced executive team bringing together expertise from the hotel, travel and leisure industries across the private and public sectors.

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For further information:

Samantha McBride
Corporate Communications Manager IFA
Hotels & Resorts

Lara Bogdanovic
BPG Public Relations
T +971-4-295-3456

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