Morgans Hotel Group, the renamed Ian Schrager Hotels, is at risk of joining its rival across the Atlantic Malmaison in the for sale camp.
The sudden departure of CEO Ed Scheetz for unexplained personal reasons has left the many in the market suggesting that Morgans is now in play.
The company statement last week said the Scheetz, who came across to Morgans from investor NorthStar Capital to replace Schrager in 2005, has resigned by mutual agreement “in order to address personal issues”.
Scheetz was a co-founder of NorthStar, Morgans principal backer at the time of its flotation last year. He launched NorthStar after a stellar career with Apollo Real Estate Advisors. Apart from his share options, Scheetz is receiving no pay-off.
The other individual involved at the start of NorthStar, David Hamamoto is chairman of Morgans. He has moved to appoint Fred Kleisner, an existing non-executive director, as interim CEO. Kleisner was CEO of Wyndham Worldwide between 2000 and 2005 and before that was COO for Starwood’s Americas division.
Morgan’s market cap last night was $744m, giving it an enterprise value of about $1.4bn.