KRONOS RISING

By the end of the year, Kronos Hotels LLC, a new, Atlanta-based hotel investment group, may have nearly 75 hotels in its portfolio, most of them full-service. In June, Kronos acquired a cache of 16 hotels representing about 3,100 rooms and nearly $60 million in annual sales from Lodgian, a full-service hotel specialist. Arranged by Hunter Realty, that deal also calls for Kronos buying one more Lodgian-owned hotel later this year.

Charles Morais, who owns and operates 14 hotels along the East Coast, is the CEO of Kronos. Carl Newberry, a former Days Inn executive, is COO and CFO; Phil Riley is vice president of operations; and Tim McDonnell and Vini Gupta are regional vice presidents.

The focus will be on full-service, says Morais, whose company also operates the Sovereign Palms hotel subsidiary in Morais's native Malaysia. He adds that the company plans to grow in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and focus on gateway cities.

Morais's investors include brothers Rajesh and Sunil Mir, Sarwir Hansa and Moses Daniel. Among his equity partners are Stillwater Capital, a New York City-based $700-million fund, and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

“We hope to add another portfolio in the next 90 days,” Morais said in late July. The new acquisition could cover 12 to 43 hotels, including some in “our back yard of Atlanta.”

“The hotel market right now is really good,” says Morais, whose company also boasts a 1,500-employee management arm, Destination Hospitality. “We want to get in there and grow slowly but cautiously. There's strong long-term potential in the hotel market right now.”

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