by Matt Alderton | March 14, 2018
Eighteen months after Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the hospitality industry continues to consolidate. The latest example: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which is now a majority owner of Asian hotelier Regent Hotels & Resorts, in which it has acquired a 51 percent stake, it announced today.
The transaction, which had a price tag of $39 million in cash, officially brings Regent into IHG's brand portfolio, where IHG said it will occupy space at the "top end of the luxury segment."

Established in 1970 in Taiwan, Regent currently has six hotels -- in Beijing; Berlin; Chongqing, China; Singapore; Taipei; and Porto Montenegro (pictured). At least three more hotels are currently under development, in Jakarta; Harbin, China; and Phú Quốc, Vietnam. IHG ultimately plans to grow the brand to more than 40 hotels around the world.

"IHG is already one of the world leaders in luxury with our InterContinental Hotels and Resorts brand, but we see significant potential to further develop our global footprint in the fast-growing luxury segment," said IHG CEO Keith Barr. "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. We see a real opportunity to unlock Regent's enormous potential and accelerate its growth globally."

IHG -- which will have the right to acquire the remaining 49 percent interest in Regent in a phased manner, beginning in 2026 -- said its acquisition of Regent is part of a larger strategic initiative to grow its market share within the $60 billion luxury segment. As part of that initiative, it also has created a new division dedicated to the luxury market.

"By creating a dedicated luxury division," Barr continued, "we will be bringing together some of the most experienced and respected people in the industry who will help drive our luxury offer, ensuring that our existing luxury brands continue to evolve and allowing us to bring in new brands such as Regent to enhance our brand portfolio."

In honor of its new relationship with Regent, IHG in early 2021 will re-flag as a Regent Hotel the iconic InterContinental Hong Kong, which previously was a Regent when it first opened in 1980 and will undergo a significant refurbishment before returning to the brand.

"Regent was founded by legendary hotelier Robert H. Burns, who sought to combine Asian hospitality and Western elegance to create a leading luxury hotel brand. The brand has an unrivalled heritage at the very top end of the luxury segment and the flagship Regent Hong Kong was consistently voted the world's best hotel in the 1980s and 1990s. Returning the property to its original roots as a Regent hotel is symbolic of our ambition to return the brand to its former glory and will go down in history as one of the greatest brand comebacks in the hotel industry," said Steven Pan, executive chairman of Formosa International Hotels Corp., Regent's owner. "IHG shares our vision for the brand and has the ability to make our ambition a reality. IHG has a deep understanding of how to protect what makes the Regent brand so unique and special, whilst at the same time ensuring that the brand can grow and thrive on a global scale."