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LONDON AND AMSTERDAM

JLL advises Chris Luken on the management buyout of his company Fletcher Hotels in the Netherlands


​The Fletcher Hotels platform has been sold in a management buyout led by Rob Hermans, CEO and Edwin van Heteren, CFO together with their equity partners, NIBC Bank and Xead Group from Luxembourg. The transaction comprises the portfolio of hotels and accompanying real estate. Founder, Chris Luken, says farewell to the business after 22 years.

Fletcher Hotels is the largest hotel chain in the Netherlands with 73 hotels and a stellar reputation having been voted "most popular hotel chain" for six consecutive years. The group generates revenue of €125 million and employs over 2,600 employees. It's aim is to grow the portfolio to 100 hotels in the ​coming years, exploring opportunities to expand both nationally and internationally.

JLL's Hotels & Hospitality Group based in London advised Luken on the transaction. The portfolio was very well received by the international private equity community, who saw Fletcher Hotels' unique business model as a great tool for further expansion. Management strongly believed in the deal and ceased the opportunity, lining up two equity partners that shared the same vision and successfully resulting in them being awarded the sale. Both seller and buyer are pleased that the company will remain in hands and continue on its path to growth.

"It was a great opportunity for us to purchase this unique business and ensure continuity. There will be limited transition for employees and guests as management is very familiar with the business and will continue with its strategy," remarked Rob Hermans, who has been with the group for 15 years.

Robert Ian Oei of NIBC Mezzanine & Equity Partners, said "we see Fletcher Hotels as a great business with its roots in the Netherlands and set to benefit from an exciting growth trajectory. We are pleased to support Fletcher alongside our co-investor Xead Group in this transaction."

 Luken, the former Van der Valk waiter, founded the hotel marketing company Hotelbon in 1994 and bought his first hotel three years later, naming it after his dog 'Fletcher'. Today, the group has blossomed to 73 hotels across the Netherlands with nearly 4,000 rooms.

"It was an exciting phase of my life and I have enjoyed building this business. Having the incumbent management team take on the reins will be the crowning moment" said Luken.