InterContinental Hotels Group has agreed to take a 51% stake in Regent Hotels and Resorts for $39 million in cash.

IHG will have the right to acquire the remaining 49% interest in a phased manner from 2026.

Regent will be brought into IHG’s brand portfolio at the top end of the luxury segment and will accelerate its growth globally.

IHG plans to expand the brand from six hotels to more than 40 in key global gateway city and resort locations over the long term.

The InterContinental Hong Kong will become a Regent hotel in early 2021 following an extensive refurbishment due to start in 2020.  The hotel originally opened in 1980 as one of the most iconic hotels to ever carry the Regent brand.

Regent was founded in 1970 and is seen by IHG as setting the benchmark for luxury hotels globally.

The acquisition is part of one of IHG’s new strategic initiatives focused on continuing to expand its footprint in the fast-growing $60 billion luxury segment.

This is being supported by a new dedicated division to further enhance its capabilities in the area.

The Regent deal follows IHG CEO Keith Barr last week hinting of a deal in the luxury hotel sector.

He said today: “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.

“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.

“In addition, by creating a dedicated luxury division, 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.”