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Staywell now part of Seibu Holdings and Prince Hotels

Category: Australia

Japan's Prince Hotels pays $50m for Staywell Hospitality

Japanese hotel group Prince Hotels, a subsidiary of listed conglomerate Seibu Holdings, has snapped up Australian-based operator Staywell Hospitality Group in a $50 million deal that will see it gain control of 30 hotels including 12 in Australia. Staywell co-founder and managing director Simon Wan said the investment in the business would help its ambitions to grow to 100 hotels worldwide in the next few years.

"We have been searching for a partner for over a year. We wanted to find the right partner with the reputation and financial resources to accelerate our growth. You can't find anyone with a bigger balance sheet than Prince Hotels and Seibu," he told The Australian Financial Review.

"They're a big player in Japan with gross assets of about $8 billion and turnover last year of about $1.8 billion."

Tokyo-based Prince Hotels owns and operates 49 hotels – 42 of them in Japan – under "The Prince", "Grand Prince Hotel" and "Prince Hotel" brands. In Japan its portfolio comprises more than 17,000 hotel rooms and 28 golf courses.

Prince Hotels president Shigeyoshi Akasaka said the acquisition of Staywell was a great first step to make rapid progress in the global market.

"In order to expand overseas, we believe that it is important to not only expand strategic bases but also to cultivate internationally minded personnel," Mr Akasaka said.

"Staywell operates hotels in seven countries and has many talented personnel who understand the regional characteristics of each country where [it] operates," .

Spearhead remains

Mr Wan, who had a 25.6 per cent stake in Staywell, will stay on as managing director of the business, which operates hotels in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Townsville, the Hunter Valley and other Australian locations under the Park Regis and Leisure Inn.

"One of the few conditions of us joining Prince and Seibu was their commitment to retaining the existing management structure under my leadership, business plan and operating system of Staywell. I will continue to spearhead our overseas expansions," Mr Wan said.

Bal Sohal, a director at British-based developer Seven Capital, had a 48.8 per cent stake in Staywell with former Baker & Mackenzie partner Richard Doyle owning 25.6 per cent.

While Prince Hotels own all its hotels, Mr Wan said Staywell would continue with its asset-light approach to hotel management.supplied by Larry Schlesinger

Simon Wan said "We have a great pipeline of hotels opening in Singapore, the Middle East and Australia. We're doing very well with seven opening this year and six next year."

In Australia, Mr Wan said he was looking at new hotel opportunities on the Gold Coast, Adelaide and Darwin as well as suburban hotels in Sydney and Melbourne.

Our passionate, driven and experienced team continue to develop partnerships to expand the group’s worldwide activities. We aim to be an internationally renowned company with established brands delivering quality value accommodation and welcoming service to our customers. Our significant growth plan is attributed to the success of the hotels in the existing portfolio and the systems and processes made available for the group to achieve our long-term strategic objectives. 

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Staywell group now trading as Park Regis City Centre Management

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