InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has successfully completed the sale of its leasehold interest in the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport property to Pelligra Group, owners of upcoming projects Holiday Inn Melbourne Werribee and Holiday Inn Melbourne Richmond.

IHG’s Vice President Development – Australasia, Japan & Pacific, Abhijay Sandilya, said the sale of the leasehold supports the company’s global asset-light strategy, which ensures its business model is focused around what it does best: franchising and managing hotels, with its business partners owning the bricks and mortar.

Since 2003 IHG has completed the sale of almost 200 hotels globally as part of its move to an asset-light business model, and the sale of the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport lease continues that global approach.

“We are particularly thrilled to expand our partnership with Pelligra Group,” Sandilya said. “We have a fantastic relationship and together we will open Holiday Inn Melbourne Werribee in 2021 and Holiday Inn Melbourne Richmond in 2023.

“We’re pleased that the deal means that we not only continue to support IHG’s global strategy, but that the iconic Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport will benefit from a refurbishment,” he said.

As part of the sale, Pelligra Group has agreed that they will invest in a major refurbishment of this hotel over the coming years, bringing it in line with the best of the Holiday Inn brand.

“We are very excited to welcome a high performing hotel like Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport to the Pelligra Group, it’s a fantastic asset that fits perfectly into our portfolio,” said Pelligra Group Chairman, Ross Pelligra.

“This is a long term investment for us. We have a strong balance sheet and we are committed to keep the hotel trading through the current challenging period and into Melbourne Airport’s new era of expansion, which will include an extensive refurbishment for this great hotel.

“IHG is a great partner and we are so pleased to work together on so many great projects,” he said.

IHG currently has 52 hotels operating under five brands in Australasia, including InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, voco, and Holiday Inn Express, with another 37 hotels in the pipeline under those brands, as well as Hotel Indigo.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management