Crédit Mutuel Equity, the international direct investment branch of Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale, has recently announced a significant investment partnership with somnOO. This collaboration aims to boost the growth and expansion of somnOO’s hotel portfolio and its management platform. Additionally, somnOO’s management team is taking a stake in the company, demonstrating their commitment to the company’s future.
Founded in 2014 by Lars Backhaus and Christian Rousseau, somnOO has developed a diverse hotel portfolio across Germany, France, and Switzerland, featuring over 4,000 rooms in various star categories. The company uniquely operates its hotels both under its own brands and through franchise agreements with well-known names like Best Western, Holiday Inn, and Novotel. This approach allows somnOO to cover the entire value chain, from real estate investment to operations and marketing.
The investment by Crédit Mutuel Equity is set to be a game changer for somnOO, enabling the conversion of minority shareholdings into majority ones and facilitating further acquisitions. This strategic move aligns with somnOO’s ambition to be among the top 5 European hotel owner-operators in the coming years. This ambition marks a shift from their prior focus on individual acquisitions to potentially exploring portfolio acquisitions.
somnOO’s unique investment approach involves two cycles. Initially, the company acquires a minority stake in hotels alongside partner investors, focusing on individual properties primarily in the DACH region and France. Later, somnOO organizes liquidity for partner investors and transitions to a majority stake in the properties and their operations. This dual-cycle approach aligns the interests of somnOO with its partner investors, ensuring long-term stability and a balanced mix of real estate and operational risks.
This partnership with Crédit Mutuel Equity also provides somnOO access to valuable industry experience and a pan-European network. Crédit Mutuel Equity’s involvement in other hotel chains, such as La Boutique Hotels Collection and Okko Hotels, further enhances this collaboration’s potential.
Fabienne Mazières, Managing Director Germany and Switzerland at Crédit Mutuel Equity, emphasizes the alignment of values and goals between the two entities. Mazières states, “somnOO is a typical investment for us. As an entrepreneurial financial partner, we want to grow with our investments. somnOO is entering a phase of intense and dynamic growth, which we can optimally support with capital, know-how and network.” She also highlights the importance of a shared cultural and personal understanding in this partnership.
Echoing this sentiment, Lars Backhaus and Christian Rousseau, founders and CEOs of somnOO, express their enthusiasm about the partnership. They remark, “We are very much looking forward to working with Crédit Mutuel Equity as an anchor investor. We were not only convinced by the well-known name and solid background combined with relevant industry experience, but also by the respectful interaction and the cooperative attitude.” They further underscore the importance of Crédit Mutuel Equity’s ‘patient capital’ approach, which aligns with their business development strategy.
This strategic investment signifies a major step for somnOO in scaling its business model and solidifying its position in the European hotel market. The partnership’s blend of capital infusion, industry expertise, and cultural alignment sets the stage for a dynamic phase of growth and expansion for somnOO.