AmericInn, the 200-unit hotel chain based in Chanhassen that is a fixture in suburbs and small towns across the Midwest, has been purchased by Wyndham Hotel Group for $170 million.
Wyndham approached the company with a "compelling offer" that was hard to refuse, Paul Kirwin, chief executive of Northcott Hospitality, said Thursday.
Northcott, a closely held company owned by descendants of founder Wyman Nelson, built the AmericInn chain through deals with franchisees over the past three decades. Wyndham was attracted to AmericInn's Midwest footprint and quality, Kirwin said.
"When the family saw the value and the price that they offered, they felt that it was one where they really couldn't pass it up," Kirwin said.
The transaction, which was announced last month, included the hotel's management company, called Three Rivers Hospitality. Northcott will still own one AmericInn in Winona, Minn., that was under construction at the time of the deal as well as several Houlihan's and Perkins restaurants.
The AmericInn chain grew from a Perkins restaurant franchising business that was acquired by Nelson in 1969. He later sold the Perkins business and in 1994 began franchising AmericInns. The chain is known across Minnesota and Upper Midwest for suburban and small-town hotels with well-insulated rooms that are quieter than most.
Today, the chain has about 200 units with 11,600 rooms in 21 states, chiefly in the Midwest and Ohio Valley. Northcott directly owned just 10 of them with the rest owned by franchisees.
"I think it was good timing for both sides," said Ted Leines, chief executive of Eden Prairie-based Leines Hotel Advisors, on the sale.
"It gets [Wyndham] into some markets where they really don't have any representation in that sector at all. … This allows them to get another set of hotels into their reservation system that has a slightly better rate," Leines said.
With the deal, Wyndham will own 20 hotel brand names that have 8,000 locations worldwide. The lodging business includes the Wyndham, Marriott and Starwood brands.
Northcott put AmericInn up for sale in 2008 at the behest of trusts owned by Nelson's family. But with the onset of the recession, the company pulled the business off the market in April 2009.