Front Desk

Carlson Agrees to Sell Regent

So that's why there was so little mention of the Regent brand at March's Carlson conference. Carlson and Rezidor have reached an agreement to sell the global Regent brand—including all intellectual property, the hotel management and lease contracts for properties in operation and under development and the Regent Seven Seas Cruises license—to Taiwan-based Formosa International Hotels Corporation (FIHC). FIHC is the original owner of the Grand Formosa Regent Taipei, which was opened 20 years ago by the Regent founders Robert Burns, Adrian Zecha and George Raphael. Future Regent hotels will be based on the concept of luxury mixed-use, lifestyle development, the release says, and the brand will return to gateway cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Beverly Hills, London, Paris and the like. The chairman of FIHC, S. Steven Pan, said "our mission is to build Regent into the most admired luxury hotel brand in the world..."

The new Ambition 2015 plan was rich on details for nearly all the other Carlson brands, most significantly the huge push with Radisson. There was no mention of the purchase price for Regent, but I'm guessing a good bit of the proceeds will go toward the $700-million Carlson plans on spending to open flagship Radisson locations in the U.S. Carlson plans on a $1.5-billion revamping of the brand, counting corporate and franchisee contributions, which is a daunting number considering the fragile state of the economic recovery. This will certainly help.

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