InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a deal for a joint hotel operating venture with Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA).
IHG will invest £8m for a majority stake in the IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan, which will become the largest international hotel operator in Japan.
IHG will sign new 15-year management contracts with ANA for 13 owned and leased properties (4,943 rooms) which will be re-branded as ANA-InterContinental, ANA-Crowne Plaze and ANA-Holiday Inn.
IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan will also oversee the existing IHG hotels in Japan, creating a combined estate of 42 hotel properties once the deal completes in December.
The flagship ANA Hotel Tokyo will be the first to be co-branded in April 2007 as the ANA-InterContinental Tokyo. The remaining 12 hotels will be co-branded over the following 18 months.
Andrew Cosslett, chief executive of IHG, said: "This deal marks another significant step for IHG as we continue to develop our brands throughout Asia. This joint venture will turn IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan into the country's leading hotel operator.
There are only 90 internationally branded hotels in Japan with the rest of the market made up with 70,000 traditional inns, averaging 15 rooms each, and 9,000 domestic hotels representing 700,000 rooms.
Property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle advised ANA.
By Emily Manson