InterContinental Plans London Park Lane Hotel Sale

InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, owner of the Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo brands, plans to sell its London Park Lane hotel for about $380 million “early this year,” according to Kirk Kinsell, the company’s president for the Americas.

InterContinental is in talks with about five potential buyers for the U.K. property and the Denham, England-based hotelier also plans to sell its Intercontinental New York Barclay hotel in the U.S., Kinsell said.

“We have made progress regarding the sale of our Park Lane asset,” he said in a telephone interview. “We’re in talks with a handful of serious owners capable of closing.”

InterContinental is selling its remaining real estate holdings to become a pure hotel and brand manager. The company owns stakes in 10 hotels out of the 4,602 properties worldwide that carried its brand name at the end of last year.

“Our strategy has been asset light,” Kinsell said.

The company first put the Intercontinental New York Barclay on the market in February 2011 for an undisclosed price. The Manhattan property built in 1926 will need at least $100 million of refurbishment, including a “complete renovation of the guest rooms,” Kinsell said. It will continue to carry the InterContinental brand under the new ownership, he said.

“We’re looking at the overall competitiveness and at refreshing the asset,” Kinsell said. “We are looking at plans, and architectural renderings. Some buyers are very intrigued by the idea of adding value and some buyers want a clean, easy purchase.”

InterContinental is expanding across the U.S., including urban markets such as New York. Current projects include a first Even Hotels property in midtown Manhattan, Kinsell said. The brand, started by InterContinental last year, is focused on wellness through its food and fitness offerings.

The company earlier today reported a 10 percent profit increase for 2012 helped by demand in the Americas, its biggest market.

(Corrects number of ownership stakes in fourth paragraph of story published Feb. 19.)
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