Raffles in Swiss hotel chain acquisition deal

Singapore-based Raffles Holdings has signed an agreement to acquire the Swissôtel chain. As a result of the deal, Raffles has more than doubled its total rooms inventory and has also expanded its geographic presence to 34 international destinations. “This acquisition offers a compelling strategic fit on terms that are consistent with our desire for increased global reach, enhanced brand equity and operating benefits of scale,” said Richard Helfer, president and chief executive officer of Raffles Holdings. “With Swissôtel’s operational talent, reputation for service and attention to guest preference, we also intend to take full advantage of and build upon the unique Swiss tradition of service,” he added. Through the purchase, Raffles gains ownership of the Swissôtel brand and its trademarks and management contracts for 23 hotels, including those of six majority or wholly-owned properties, and minority interests in a further three hotels. Commented Helfer: “We have increased our inventory of luxury and deluxe rooms by 139% to 13,457 rooms. Our global footprint has been enlarged to 39 hotels in 34 destinations which are business capitals, cultural centres and major tourist destinations.” The sale is said to complement Raffles’ portfolio in Europe and provide a significant presence in key North American gateway cities. In addition, Swissôtel also provides Raffles with strategic entry via its established hotels in Asia, the Middle East and South America.

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