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Global Hospitality Advisor®: A masterstroke hospitality investment by savvy investor

22 April 2010

Hotel Lawyer with an update on successful Asian investor strategy

A number of years ago, JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® trademarked Global Hospitality Advisor® to reflect both the global and advisory nature of our focused hospitality practice. We are very proud to use it today with reference to Formosa International, a client we represented in signing a definitive agreement for the acquisition of worldwide rights to the Regent brand and hotel business.

We are currently representing 3 Asian investors on significant international transactions, and this is the first one we can disclose. We believe that this is part of a new wave of savvy Asian investment in the hospitality industry that will have exciting implications for the industry.

The press release on the Regent deal is below. My partner, Catherine Holmes, was the lead hotel lawyer on this transaction.

Formosa International Hotels Confirms Acquisition of Regent

Formosa International Hotels Corporation (FIHC) confirmed that it has entered into definitive agreements with affiliates of the Carlson Companies and The Rezidor Hotel Group AB to acquire the Regent hotel business. Closing of the master purchase agreement executed on Friday, Taipei time, should occur during the next three to four weeks.

Founded by legendary hoteliers, Robert Burns, George Raphael and Adrian Zecha, in the 1980’s, Regent became synonymous with impeccable service in an environment of simple elegance. FIHC intends to return Regent’s reputation for innovation, quality and the values of traditional Asian hospitality to prominence in the hotel industry.

FIHC is the original owner of the Regent Taipei. Chairman S. Steven Pan noted that his family’s twenty-year association with the brand has provided Formosa with a unique understanding of its origins, its commitment to exceptional service and understated elegance. “We were here when Regent’s founders brought their concepts and values to life, and we have nurtured those traditions in our hotel. We look forward to restoring the original Regent precepts of timeless design and intuitive service to the luxury end of the business” he said.

Currently operating hotels in Beijing, Berlin, Bordeaux, Zagreb, and Turks & Caicos, Regent also has a vibrant pipeline of properties in various stages of development in Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Bali, Doha, Dubrovnik, Gurgaon, Kuala Lumpur, Maldives, Phuket and Puerto Rico. Regent has its eye on further expansion, through both acquisition and management, around the world. “We want to return to the gateway cities of the world,” said Chairman Pan, “and now, with exceptional properties financially stressed by the recession coming to the market, we are well positioned to bring a great brand opportunity to the hotel investment community. Our goal is simply to be the most admired luxury hotel brand in the world, both by our guests and our partners.”

Formosa was assisted in the transaction by a team of experienced hotel executives and legal counsel. Advisory services were provided by long-time hotel development executives, Bill Sipple of Index Consulting Group, LLC,; and Peter Connolly, Executive Vice President – Operations & Development of Hostmark Hospitality Group, and formerly general counsel of Hyatt Hotels.

Formosa’s U.S. and transactional counsel are Jim Butler and Cathy Holmes of the Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro’s Global Hospitality Group with 20 years of experience representing hotel owners, developers, lenders and managers in over $60 billion in hotel transactions. Claude Montgomery, a veteran commercial litigator and creditor’s right counsel to hotel owners and lenders, and German law qualified, Kristina Beirne led a team from the Paris-based Salans firm in providing Formosa legal counsel in Europe. The Financial advisor was Mr. Carl Chien, CEO of JP Morgan & Co, Taiwan.

This is Jim Butler, author of and hotel lawyer, signing off. We’ve done more than $60 billion of hotel transactions and have developed innovative solutions to unlock value from troubled hotel transactions. Who’s your hotel lawyer?

Our Perspective. We represent hotel lenders, owners and investors. We have helped our clients find business and legal solutions for more than $60 billion of hotel transactions, involving more than 1,000 properties all over the world. For more information, please contact Jim Butler at or 310.201.3526.

Jim Butler is a founding partner of JMBM and Chairman of its Global Hospitality Group®. Jim is one of the top hospitality attorneys in the world. GOOGLE “hotel lawyer” and you will see why.

JMBM’s troubled asset team has handled more than 1,000 receiverships and many complex insolvency issues. But Jim and his team are more than “just” great hotel lawyers. They are also hospitality consultants and business advisors. For example, they have developed some unique proprietary approaches to unlock value in underwater hotels that can benefit lenders, borrowers and investors. (GOOGLE “JMBM SAVE program”.)

Whether it is a troubled investment or new transaction, JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® creates legal and business solutions for hotel owners and lenders. They are deal makers. They can help find the right operator or capital provider. They know who to call and how to reach them.