BPEA REAL ESTATE ACQUIRES PRIME OSAKA HOTEL AND LAUNCHES JAPAN’S FIRST HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BY IHG
30 November 2021 – Baring Private Equity Asia (“BPEA”), one of Asia’s largest private equity firms, announced today that its affiliated real estate funds (“BPEA Real Estate”) have acquired a newly-built select service urban hotel with a distinguished location directly in the heart of Osaka’s prestigious Midosuji Boulevard. IHG Hotels & Resorts (“IHG”) has been exclusively engaged as the incoming operator and has selected the hotel to launch its world-renowned Holiday Inn Express brand in Japan. The hotel is expected to open as the Holiday Inn Express Osaka City Centre Midosuji in mid-December 2021. Financial details are not being disclosed.
The hotel is in a prime location in the city centre of Osaka, Japan’s largest inbound tourism market, fronting the city’s main Midosuji thoroughfare, with excellent accessibility and visibility to both the central business and entertainment districts. BPEA has identified the opportunity to leverage the global distribution systems of an international operator in a market where international brands are significantly under-represented. Travel to Osaka is underpinned by both strong domestic and inbound demand, and the travel industry in Japan is supported by government initiatives subsidising travel, driving significant recovery of hotel stays towards pre-pandemic levels.
BPEA Real Estate will reposition and rebrand the 305-room high rise hotel by attaching it to a well-known international brand and partner in IHG. BPEA will support IHG as it launches the first-ever Holiday Inn Express in Japan, which represents an important first step on the value creation journey of the hotel.
Eric Siegel, Managing Director and Regional Head of Hospitality, BPEA Real Estate, commented: “We are pleased to be partnering with IHG to launch its market leading Holiday Inn Express brand in Japan. This is an institutional-quality asset in a true AAA location, and we believe it is the ideal hotel for IHG’s first Holiday Inn Express. We are grateful for all the trust and confidence multiple major Japanese corporate counterparties have placed in BPEA, all of whom acted in the highest professional manner to ensure seamless transaction execution. With our track record in real estate investments, we are looking forward to stewarding the asset and exploring further hospitality-related investment opportunities in the region.”
Although the hotel was recently built by one of Japan’s top developers, BPEA plans to renovate several areas to ensure it will remain at the top of its class for years to come.
Abhijay Sandilya, Managing Director – Japan, IHG Hotels & Resorts and CEO IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan, added: “We are honoured to launch Holiday Inn Express in Japan in partnership with BPEA Real Estate, which is part of one of the largest independent private equity firms in Asia. We have been committed for some time to bringing this world-class brand to Japan when the time was right, and now with a great partner in BPEA Real Estate, an amazing asset, and the world poised to reopen, we are thrilled to introduce Holiday Inn Express to the Japanese market.”
BPEA Real Estate had no hospitality exposure across its funds before the onset of COVID-19. As the hospitality industry recovers from almost two years of pandemic restrictions, the transaction marks BPEA Real Estate’s first hospitality asset purchase in Japan since the close of its second dedicated real estate fund, BPEA Real Estate Fund II, which closed on its hard cap of US$1 billion in 2018. That fund seeks to generate opportunistic returns by investing in a diversified portfolio of value-add and opportunistic assets in Japan and across Asia.
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