Holiday Inn Express Brisbane Spring Hill 2 - EDITED

IHG has taken a stake in Australia’s Pro-invest Group, which is developing up to 15 Holiday Inn Express properties across the nation.

The news, revealed at HICAP in Hong Kong this week, has seen InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) invest in Pro-invest’s AUD$150 million Australian Hospitality Opportunity Fund (AHO).

The first closing of the fund has now taken place and in addition to IHG, the fund comprises investors from established offshore family offices.

“Australia is an important market for us and we are committed to growing our brands here,” said IHG’s Chief Executive Officer, Asia, Middle East and Africa, Jan Smits.

“We are very excited to be launching Holiday Inn Express, one of the fastest growing hotel brands in the industry, with the Pro-Invest Group in Sydney next year.

“With their reputation as a hotel developer and operator, and a strong management team who is well acquainted with IHG, we are confident our partnership with Pro-Invest Group will establish Holiday Inn Express as a preferred brand in Australia,” he said.

Pro-invest Group reports its roll-out of Holiday Inn Express hotels has been “extremely well-received by investors and the company is now in discussion with a number of other institutions interested in investing in the Australian Hospitality Opportunity fund”.

This interest is being strengthened by the announcement of IHG’s financial commitment, Pro-invest Group’s established development and operational platform in Australia as well as its ability to rapidly roll-out Holiday Inn Express hotels.

“We are pleased to welcome IHG as part of our investors,” said Pro-invest Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Ronald Barrott.

“IHG’s commitment strongly reinforces their confidence in our roll-out of the Holiday Inn Express brand in Australia.

“Australia’s accommodation market is in need of new hotel supply operated under well-established international brands, particularly in the limited service segment.

“Our hotels will cater to the growing demand for hotel accommodation in Australia, offering a great guest experience to smart, savvy travellers regardless of whether they are visiting for business or leisure.

“Despite the challenges of developing hotels in the current market, the development of our Holiday Inn Express portfolio is well underway and we see plenty of opportunity for our initial portfolio of Holiday Inn Express hotels to grow significantly in the years to come,” he said.

Pro-invest Group currently has two hotels in the pipeline, Holiday Inn Express Sydney, Macquarie Park, which is scheduled to open next year and Holiday Inn Express Brisbane, Spring Hill, which will open early 2016.

Both hotels have received the support of local authorities with Development Approvals received and it is expected that contractors will commence on-site later this month, in both locations.

Pro-invest Group, in close collaboration with IHG and leading industry designers and consultants, has tailored the design of the typical Holiday Inn Express hotel to meet the requirements of the Australian market, which will give the brand a significant competitive advantage in the market.

Pro-invest Group is currently in advanced negotiations on another five sites and is actively seeking additional sites to develop Holiday Inn Express hotels. It expects to announce further acquisitions by the end of 2014.

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James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management