Canadians David Mongeau, 53, and Piers Talalla, 45, are predicting the bottoming out of the European luxury hotel market. The duo has launched a new €500-million hotel buyout fund called Avingstone, which aims to acquire big hotel properties in Europe. Mongeau and Talalla are, respectively, chairman and CEO of the hospitality-investment bank Avington Financial. The company was established in the upscale Mayfair district of West London, England, after they left CIBC. After two weeks they have confirmed €310-million of the targeted funding. Their lead investors include English brothers Ian and Richard Livingstone, whose London & Regional Properties has a €9-billion portfolio that includes more than 50 upscale hotels. According to Mongeau, Avingstone has also attracted the interest of a southeast Asia-based sovereign wealth fund and “a couple of dynastic European families.”


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