IHG to acquire stake in Regent, sees 'enormous potential'

The Regent Porto Montenegro.
The Regent Porto Montenegro.

InterContinental Hotels Group has followed through on its plan to buy a luxury brand, agreeing to acquire a 51% stake in Regent Hotels and Resorts for $39 million in cash.  

When the transaction is complete, IHG will form a joint venture with Formosa International Hotels, a Taiwanese company that has owned Regent for almost eight years. IHG will have the right to acquire the remaining 49% interest in a phased manner from 2026. 

The Regent brand, founded in 1970, has just six hotels, none in the U.S. The brand operates hotels in Beijing, Chongqing, Taipei, Singapore, Montenegro and Berlin. Hotels are in development in Jakarta, Indonesia; Harbin, China; and Phu Quoc, Vietnam, according to Regent's website. The Jakarta hotel is expected to open late this year.

IHG said it intends to reach 40 Regent hotels and resorts "over the long term."

Following an extensive refurbishment due to begin in early 2020, the InterContinental Hong Kong will become a Regent hotel in early 2021. That property originally opened its doors in 1980 as a Regent hotel.

"As one of the pioneers in defining luxury hotels both in Asia and around the world, Regent is an excellent addition to IHG's portfolio of brands," stated IHG CEO Keith Barr. "We see a real opportunity to unlock Regent's enormous potential and accelerate its growth globally." 

Regent was once owned by Carlson Hotels, which sold the brand to Formosa in 2010. Carlson had difficulty growing the brand, and so has Formosa.

Formosa executive chairman Steve Pan said that with IHG buying a stake in Regent, the brand will "return to its former glory." He predicted "one of the greatest comebacks in the hotel industry."

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