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Joie de Vivre hotels get infusion from Geolo Capital

June 7, 2010 | 12:19 pm


A member of the family that built the massive Hyatt hotel empire plans to take a majority stake in a San Francisco-based boutique hotel chain.

John A. Pritzker, whose family helped to launch the Hyatt Hotel Corp., will join in a financial partnership with Joie de Vivre through his private equity investment firm, Geolo Capital.

Joie de Vivre manages 33 properties in California, including the Hotel Angeleno near Brentwood, Hotel Erwin near Venice Beach and Hotel Maya in Long Beach.

Under the deal, Pritzker will become chairman of the company, retaining the chain's founder, Chip Conley, as its chief executive officer. By creating an investment fund of about $150 million, Geolo expects to help Joi de Vivre add up to 17 properties to the chain throughout the U.S. over the next five years, according to company officials.

Last year, Geolo purchased the Carmel Valley Ranch, a resort on 400 acres of land in the Carmel Valley. The resort will become part of the Joie de Vivre chain this year.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Hotel Angeleno. Credit: Christian Horan