21c Museum Hotels Structuring

Assignment Overview

RobertDouglas assisted 21c Museum Hotels in the structuring and financial analysis of its sale of 85% of the award-winning hotel management company to AccorHotels. The transaction, which results in co-founders, Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson retaining a 15% stake in the company, was announced in July 2018 and closed in September 2018.

The transaction represents the most recent work that RobertDouglas has performed on behalf of 21c Museum Hotels.  In 2015, RobertDouglas advised the company in the selection and structuring of a strategic growth capital partnership with Junius Real Estate Partners, a specialized real estate investment unit of J.P. Morgan. Since that time, 21c has achieved an impressive growth trajectory with the company now operating eight unique properties, and preparing to open additional hotels in Chicago and Des Moines.

Project Overview

21c Museum Hotels, an award-winning hospitality company based in Louisville, Kentucky, is pushing the boundaries of both the museum and hotel worlds to create a new kind of hospitality experience. The company was founded as a single property by contemporary art collectors and preservationists Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, whose mission was to share innovative contemporary art with the public and participate in the revitalization of downtown Louisville.

The couple opened the first 21c Louisville in 2006 along downtown’s West Main Street, rehabilitating a series of 19th century warehouses to create an innovative union of genuine hospitality, thoughtful design and culinary creativity — all anchored by a contemporary art museum with thought-provoking exhibitions, interactive site-specific art installations and a full roster of cultural programming. The company now operates eight hotels and employs over 1,000 people. 

Deal Highlights

RE Investment Capacity:
Existing Portfolio:


21c Museum Hotels
Eight hotels with two in the pipeline


Next Case Study

Thompson Washington, D.C.