Nine Choice Hotels Branded Properties Added to the UK Portfolio
Choice Hotels International, Inc.(NYSE:CHH), announced today a strategic relationship with Akkeron Hotels Group Limited, a well-known regional hotel operator in the United Kingdom, that is expected to initially result in nine Akkeron hotels operating under Choice Hotels franchise agreements in the UK, representing an almost 25% increase in the Choice Hotels UK hotel portfolio and an additional 611 rooms.
Under the agreement, five Akkeron hotels in Bristol, Bury St. Edmunds, Colchester, Peterborough and Kings Lynn will be rebranded under the Quality brand and another four hotels located in Winchester, Darlington, Ringwood and Stevenage will operate under the Clarion Collection brand. The newly branded Choice hotels, Quality Hotel Bury St. Edmunds, Quality Hotel Peterborough and Clarion Collection Cromwell Stevenage, are anticipated to come online within the Choice Hotels Europe system by the end of February. The remaining Quality and Clarion Collection brand hotels are expected to come online throughout 2013.
"We are delighted to have entered into this relationship with Akkeron Hotels Group Limited. Akkeron is a strong hotel operator and an ideal company for Choice Hotels Europe to work with and grow its presence in the UK. The agreement initially will focus on rebranding nine hotels with the opportunity to discuss rebranding further Akkeron hotels in the future," commented Duncan Berry, UK CEO, Choice Hotels Europe.
"Our relationship with Choice Hotels is about developing a long term strategy of increasing UK marketshare for both companies. It is clear that Choice Hotels is prepared to invest in the UK market in terms of brand and distribution. Alongside the change in brand comes a significant investment into the nine hotels to reposition those businesses along with the conversion to the Clarion Collection and Quality brands," added Matthew Welbourn, MD of Akkeron Hotels Group Limited.
"This agreement underscores the fact that Europe is a key focus of growth for Choice Hotels, and in order to substantially increase the size of the portfolio we have made significant investments in technology in the European marketplace, " said Mark Pearce, senior vice president, International Division, Choice Hotels International. "This includes introducing choiceADVANTAGE, our cloud-based hotel property management system in the UK and Europe which provides our franchisees with a fully integrated solution to manage guest interaction from the moment a reservation is made through check-out and even after the stay."
The Choice Hotels European portfolio of franchised hotels offers business and leisure travelers a full spectrum of premium economy to luxury hotels. Choice Hotels Europe franchises nearly 500 hotels across Europe alone. Brands franchised by Choice Hotels Europe include Clarion, which is described as four to five star rated; Quality, which is three star rated and provides a mid-scale full service offering and Comfort, which is two to three star rated and is Choice Hotel's largest brand worldwide, known for value, customer service and reliability.
Benefits of operating under a Comfort, Quality or Clarion brand include increased reservations delivered through Choice Hotels International's central online booking system and third-party travel websites, the choiceADVANTAGE property management system, Choice's marketing support and powerful seasonal and national advertising campaigns, as well as the company's large and experienced sales force which is able to negotiate with major travel agents. Choice Hotels International also operates an award-winning global loyalty rewards program with more than 16.5 million Choice Privileges members.
About Akkeron Hotels Group Limited
Akkeron Hotels Group Limited is a growing UK focused mid-market and regional hotel business comprising 3* and 4* hotels. The Company intends to build a portfolio of up to 150 regional hotels and it is expected that Akkeron's interests in these will comprise a blend of freehold ownerships, leases and management contracts. Akkeron Hotels' portfolio consists of 34 hotels, employing 1,630 people, with a combined turnover of c£62m making it one of the largest regional hotel operators in the UK. Akkeron Group was formed in 2008 by James Brent, previously Global Head of Real Estate & Lodging Investment Banking at Citigroup, with a focus on real estate-based operational businesses.
Akkeron's key areas of activity include: Management-intensive real estate portfolios e.g. hotels, Urban regeneration focused on the South and South West of the UK and Large-scale agriculture in emerging markets. Akkeron pursues a partnership approach to its investment programme, leveraging its skills across real estate, development, financing and corporate finance.
Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world. With more than 7,000 hotels, representing over 590,000 rooms, in over 40 countries and territories as of December 31, 2019, the Choice® family of hotel brands provide business and leisure travelers with a range of high-quality lodging options from limited service to full-service hotels in the upscale, midscale, extended-stay and economy segments. The award-winning Choice Privileges® loyalty program offers members benefits ranging from everyday rewards to exceptional experiences. For more information, visit www.choicehotels.com.
This communication includes "forward-looking statements" about future events, including anticipated hotel openings. Such statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including construction delays, availability and cost of financing and the other "Risk Factors" described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, any of which could cause actual results to be materially different from our expectations.
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