Keen-Summit Capital Partners won the 2021 Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) award for single asset transaction of the year of more than $25 million for the sale of L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Hotel. The award was given at the annual Americas Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles, where executives and companies responsible for the most influential hotel industry deals in 2020 were honored.

The sale of L’Ermitage was one of the largest hospitality transactions of 2020, ultimately selling via court order for $100 million to New York-based EOS Investors. L’Ermitage was one of the luxury properties embroiled in 1MDB’s multi-billion-dollar international money laundering scandal involving financier Jho Low, who allegedly embezzled billions of dollars from a Malaysian development fund. Low allegedly used the money to buy extravagant properties, a mega yacht and paintings by Van Gogh and Monet, and even helped to finance the film “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The fallout involved several governments, including the United States, Switzerland, Malaysia and Singapore.

“We are deeply honored to be recognized with this prestigious award for our firms’ outstanding work on a difficult project that occurred in the midst of the COVID pandemic,” Harold Bordwin, co-principal and co-managing director of Keen-Summit Capital Partners, said. “As we saw it, this was a rare opportunity for investors, as sales of these luxury projects are normally handled privately and seldom made public.”

“Even in light of pandemic restrictions, we were delighted that we, along with our partners at Vedder Price, were able to successfully navigate and execute this purchase,” Matt Bordwin, co-principal and co-managing director of Keen-Summit Capital Partners, said. “It occurred despite the fact that the market for hospitality properties was struggling significantly.”

L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Hotel, a 116-suite luxury hotel, underwent a $37 million renovation in 2016 following its acquisition in 2010 by an entity tied to Low. The United States District Court for the Central District of California, at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice, entered an order authorizing the sale of the hotel. Michael M. Eidelman of Vedder Price, as special master, engaged Keen-Summit to broker the sale. In May 2020, Keen-Summit initiated a marketing plan and fielded inquiries from more than 1,000 prospects, nearly 800 of whom executed the non-disclosure agreement, and received more than 50 offers. The auction took place in August 2020 and the sale closed in October 2020.