NEW YORK—Rubelmann Capital announced today the acquisition of the iconic hospitality trade media brand Hotel Business and partner brand InspireDesign from ICD Publications, Inc. Hotel Business is the leading voice in the hotel, leisure and travel sectors, covering the dominant trends and transformative innovation across the hospitality industry. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitality industry leaders and insiders look to Hotel Business for the top news, insights and analysis driving the industry into the future.
Rubelmann Capital’s focus on acquiring growth businesses backed by long-term capital to drive new investment behind their company’s core strategies fits perfectly with the existing strong market position of Hotel Business and InspireDesign. Rubelmann previously owned and operated Backstage.com, a leading trade media platform for the music industry, where they drove significant growth by investing in the company’s content, platform and customer reach.
The company announced that hospitality industry and marketing leader Armin Molavi has joined Hotel Business and InspireDesign as the new CEO. Allen Rolleri and Christina Trauthwein will continue to lead as publisher and editor-in-chief, respectively, along with the existing editorial and sales teams.
“Hotel Business is the go-to platform for the entire hospitality industry, and as we enter this period of extraordinary transformation, we are excited to chronicle those changes for our dedicated readers,” said Molavi. “Hotel Business is an invaluable resource for anyone who touches the world of hospitality—from industry titans to independent operators, service providers to the big banks and lenders. As we all rethink how we travel for pleasure and for work, Hotel Business will be the leading voice covering those changes providing unrivaled news and insights, and we are looking forward to our new future together.”
“Now, more than ever, the hospitality industry needs strong media brands that will be there for them through the recovery, and for many years to come,” said Rolleri. “The investment by Rubelmann Capital will allow us to take our proven content and marketing platforms the lodging community has relied on for 30 years and build upon them. I am very excited for the road ahead, as well as the growth and opportunities we will be able to offer our readership and marketing partners.”
“Our brands are must-read sources of information and insight the hospitality community turns to in helping to manage and grow their own businesses,” said Trauthwein. “We are excited to continue to provide thought leadership to our print and digital audiences and to work with our media partners on new and innovative products across the hotel group platform, and we are looking forward to collaborating with the new ownership team to deliver the editorial excellence that is foundational to Hotel Business and InspireDesign.”
“Hotel Business is an iconic publication and media brand that is at the intersection of a rapidly changing hospitality industry,” said Peter Rappaport, founder of Rubelmann Capital. “The extraordinary leadership, editorial and sales teams have set the standard for professionalism, and I am looking forward to working with them to continue to enhance our platform and expand our reach.”
Molavi brings decades of experience in the marketing and hospitality industries. As VP of global media strategy and execution, he led the ongoing transformation of Hilton’s media team and worked with partners across the globe to build out the company’s media center of excellence. Prior to joining Hilton, Molavi spent nearly two decades working inside global advertising agencies, where he led brand and media strategy development for major consumer product, retail, travel and financial companies. He previously served as the North American head of strategy for Havas Media.
The transactions closed at the end of December. Financial details are not being disclosed.
ICD Publications Inc. was represented by Media Advisory Partners, LLC, a New York-based mergers and acquisitions advisory firm specializing in the media, information and marketing services sectors.