First Hotels and hotel management company Belvar agree partnership

The Scandinavian hotel company First Hotels has partnered up with global hotel management company Belvar.

The companies are trading with a shared turnover of over 200 million euros and they believe the partnership will help that figure to double in just two years.

The new Group’s name has been unveiled as Maribel and has a threefold, equal ownership between the two owners of Belvar, Mads Jacobsen and Rune Firing, and the founder of First Hotels and the Flying Elephant Group, Asmund Haare.

Belvar CEO Jacobsen said: “The portfolios are very well suited to each other and this is one of the cases where the total value exceeds that of the individual contributing elements.”

Maribel will initially have more than 11,500 rooms in its portfolio, covering a total of 11 countries. The hotels currently operate under the trademarks First Hotels, Moxy Hotels and Courtyard by Marriott.

Belvar has also opened five Moxy hotels in the UK alone since December 2016.

Over the past few years, Belvar has been a European partner for the world’s largest hotel group, Marriott. The company has signed operational agreements for over 9,000 new rooms in a total of 45 hotels that are set to open over the next two years.

The merged Group will be represented in 17 countries and its revenues are expected to rise from two to four billion Norwegian kroner in the next two years.

Haare commented; “Mads and Rune have done a great job of building Belvar up to become one of Europe’s most exciting and expansive hotel companies. Together, we will have good coverage across Europe with the company rapidly developing.”

Haare will be the chairman of the board in Maribel, while Jacobsen, Firing and Simen Haare will become board members.  Jacobsen has been announced as the CEO in both Maribel and Belvar, and Firing will continues as chairman of the board of Belvar.

Belvar, which is the Group’s operating company, is set to become one of the most recognisable European hotel operators after the merger, but it will maintain its effective organisation.

Haare said: “Belvar’s organisation is relatively flat and the communication and the chain of command is lean. Despite being a young company with significant geographical coverage, the organisational culture is perceived as tight-knit and solid.

“Belvar unquestionably represents the next-generation of hotel operator companies and sets new standards for operations, corporate culture and innovation,” he added.

Jacobsen said: “One of the great motivations behind the merger is to increase the volume significantly. Not only do we want to improve our competitiveness by benefiting from the economy of scale, but the increase in volume will also act as a door-opener to new markets, both in terms of end customers and in terms of growth in the number of hotels.”

Firing said: “We know that most European hotels are chain-dependent, a position that is becoming increasingly demanding due to the enormous technological development in recent years. One of our big strengths is that we are brand-independent, which means we can find the brand best suited to the destination, product, and culture.

“With First Hotels on the team, we have a brand that has proven European potential, offering products and services tailored to individual hotels regardless of location,” he added.

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