March 2015 – Laurus Corporation Monetizes Investment in Holiday Inn Express New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, LALaurus Corporation, a U.S.-based private real estate investment and development firm, announced the $15.8 million sale of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites – New Orleans Airport South, achieving a 33.5% IRR and 2.3 times equity multiple in less than three years.

Laurus originally purchased the hotel in March 2012 and immediately launched a repositioning program for the asset, which included a franchise affiliation change, selection of a new hotel management company, and a comprehensive refurbishment of the property. The 130-room hotel was completely overhauled, including guestrooms, public areas, exterior façade and landscaping, and  was selected as the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 2013 Renovation Award winner for its innovative renovation and design.

New Orleans is the fourth busiest U.S. cargo port and the largest city and metropolitan area in Louisiana. The market continues its remarkable post-recession resurgence, increasing from 3.7 million visitors in 2006 to nearly 9.3 million today.   The Holiday Inn Express & Suites sits on a highly visible 3.4 acre site at the entrance of James Business Park, a Class A, 200-acre business park offering over two million square feet of commercial space, and immediately adjacent to the New Orleans International Airport, which serves approximately 9.7 million passengers per year and is currently undergoing an $826 million expansion to add 30 new gates.

Over its three year ownership period, Laurus’ asset management team, working in tandem with the local operator, was able to increase Net Operating Income (NOI) for the hotel five-fold, leveraging the firm’s operations and development expertise to create significant value for the investment.

“This project is a prime example of Laurus’ ability to source opportunistic, institutional quality real estate and effectively implement a complex value-add strategy, delivering above market returns for our investors,” said Jean Paul Szita, President of Laurus Corporation.

“We are pleased with our team’s unwavering execution of the business plan for this asset,” said Austin Khan, Chief Investment Officer of Laurus Corporation.  “We were able to exceed our proforma numbers on every key metric, including cash yield and IRR, and monetized two years ahead of our originally targeted exit date.”

Laurus continues to actively invest via its real estate equity fund, the Ethika Diversified Opportunity Real Estate Fund, which was formed to provide investors access to a unique platform that tactically invests in opportunistic and value-add assets in the United States.

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Laurus Corporation is a real estate investment and development company that specializes in hotels and resorts, office buildings, multifamily and mixed-use properties. Laurus employs an entrepreneurial investment strategy designed to consistently achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns by creating capital appreciation opportunities through repositioning, restructuring, re-development and intensive post acquisition asset management. It is affiliated with Ethika Investments, LLC, a real estate investment firm.

FREDERIQUE CALLUAUD
Laurus Corporation
Phone: (310) 277-8600
fcalluaud@lauruscorporation.com
ERICA HESS
Berbay Corp.
Phone: (310) 405-7335
erica@berbay.com