Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has entered into an agreement to acquire Red Lion Hotels Corporation, the hospitality company announced at the start of the new year.
The Denver, Colorado-based RLH Corporation is the 10th-largest U.S.-based hotel franchise company under Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, Signature, and Americas Best Value brands.
After the closing of the transaction, Sonesta will become one of the largest hotel companies in the U.S. with approximately 1,200 hotels under a diverse set of 13 brands in multiple market segments.
Sonesta currently operates five brands. The new upscale focused-service brand Sonesta Select was introduced mid-December with nine properties, joining Royal Sonesta, full-service hotels; Sonesta Hotels & Resorts, full-service destinations, Sonesta ES Suites, premier extended stay accommodations; and the Sonesta Simply Suites, a curated extended-stay offering.
All of Sonesta's hotels in the U.S. are currently self-managed, the acquisition of RLH significantly accelerates Sonesta's hotel franchising capabilities by adding a franchise platform with more than 900 hotels.
Sonesta also announced that upon closing of the deal, 35-year hotel industry veteran Keith Pierce will be joining Sonesta as Executive Vice President, President of Franchise & Development.
Pierce served most recently as President and Managing Partner of the Passionality Group, a hospitality investment and management advisory firm. Prior to that, he worked at Wyndham Worldwide, where he was Executive Vice President, Brand Operations for North America, and before that, President of Hotel Brand Operations for the Americas, and Group President for Hotels at Wyndham's predecessor company, Cendant Corporation.
The acquisition of RLH is currently expected to close in the first half of 2021.