Ott Ventures Sees European Hospitality Prospects, Launches €500m Velvet Hotel Fund

Main Photo: The Smetana Hotel, Prague

Date: December 2020

Locations: A focus on the main Central European markets – Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary as well as in Germany and Austria.

 Name: The Velvet Hotel Fund

No. of Keys: TBA

Fund Manager: Ott Ventures, the private equity arm and fund management platform run by Orco Property Group and MaMaison Hotels & Residences founder, Jean-Francois Ott.

The manager has launched the Velvet hotel fund, which with 50% loan-to-value, to invest and manage €500m worth of properties across Europe.

The fund has already identified several opportunities for its seed portfolio, Ott Ventures said without disclosing further details. The Velvet hotel fund will invest in properties from budget to trophy assets, in city-centre locations, both in existing properties and developments.

Jean-François Ott, founder and CEO at Ott Ventures said: “In a momentum of weak competition with few new products, alongside an expected increase in regional ADRs we believe it is the best time for us to launch our first hotel fund.”

Ott said the current market conditions will allow the fund to have access to attractive investment opportunities by bringing much “needed equity or hybrid equity to investors or operators facing cash flow challenges”.

“With 30 years of experience in turning around hotels and deploying capital I have put together a team of hotel experts with extensive experience in Central Europe, which is our geographical focus, but we will remain open to investing in other major European markets should we find opportunities that match our knowledge, strategy and target returns.” said Jean-François Ott.

As the now defunct Orco Property Group, the company’s team worked with EBRD on developing MaMaison Hotels & Residences in the region and later teamed up with AIG. It was the first international player to invest in the Sunčani Hvar resort on the island of Hvar in Croatia. Both MaMaison Hotels & Residences and Sunčani Hvar were later acquired by CPI Property Group and in 2016 Orco itself was taken over by the Czech real estate investor. Ott Ventures was set up as its own fund management platform in 2019 and has since
launched its first logistics fund.

THPT Comment: Great move by Jean-Francois Ott…good timing, and as an experienced hotelier, he will know what he is looking for.

First Seen: Eurobuild

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