Bloomberg News

Thompson Hotels Merges With Joie de Vivre for Management, Brands

October 03, 2011

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Thompson Hotels said it combined its management and brands with Joie de Vivre Hospitality to form JT Hospitality, an operator of 45 properties and revenue of about $500 million a year.

Closely held Joie de Vivre and Thompson are equal partners in the transaction, which took effect on Oct. 1, they said today in a statement. The combined company will be based in New York and Stephen Brandman, co-owner and chief executive officer of Thompson, was named CEO of the newly formed firm. The deal doesn’t include real estate.

Joie de Vivre is majority owned by John Pritzker’s San Francisco-based Geolo Capital, a private-equity firm. He is the son of the late billionaire Jay Pritzker, founder of Hyatt Hotels Corp. Geolo acquired its stake in Joie de Vivre last year. Pritzker will be co-chairman with Jason Pomeranc, a founder of Thompson.

JT Hospitality plans to expand its brands in the U.S. and internationally through property-management contracts, joint ventures and acquisitions, according to the statement.

The U.S. lodging industry has been improving after the recession depressed demand in 2009 and 2010. Hotel occupancies in the top 25 U.S. markets climbed to 65 percent in January through May from 62 percent a year earlier, according to Hendersonville, Tennessee-based Smith Travel Research Inc.

--With assistance from Nadja Brandt in Los Angeles. Editors: Daniel Taub, Christine Maurus

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Louis in Chicago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at -0- Oct/03/2011 14:48 GMT

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