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by Matt Alderton | December 16, 2014
British hotelier InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has agreed to acquire boutique hotelier Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for $430 million in cash, it reported today. According to the company, the transaction will make IHG the world's largest boutique hotel business.

"Kimpton is a well-established and highly successful business that has built an industry leading position in the U.S. It has created a portfolio of world-class hotels and destination restaurants, and the distinctive and innovative Kimpton brand will fit perfectly into the IHG brand family. Adding Kimpton to our portfolio of preferred brands creates the world's largest boutique hotel business," IHG CEO Richard Solomons said in a statement. "The acquisition is another step in IHG's well-established asset-light strategy of investing in high-quality growth, building on a strong track record of developing iconic global brands. We will use our scale, network of owner relationships, and powerful digital platforms to accelerate Kimpton's growth both within the U.S. and internationally."

Upon completion of the transaction in the first quarter of 2015, IHG -- owner of the InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, EVEN, and HUALUXE brands -- will assume ownership of 62 Kimpton hotels and 71 hotel-based restaurants and bars, not to mention 16 additional Kimpton properties currently under development.

Operating as its own brand within the IHG portfolio, the Kimpton team will continue to be led by Mike DeFrino, currently Kimpton's COO.

"Kimpton is a unique business with a strong track record of excellence in everything from design and innovative hotel concepts to financial and operational performance. It also has enormous potential for growth, both in its home market of the U.S. and globally," said Kimpton CEO Mike Depatie. "IHG is the ideal partner for Kimpton and has absolutely the right experience and specialist capabilities to help the business move to the next phase of rapid growth. Kimpton and IHG have many things in common, not least our shared values and approach to building brands. As an owner of a significant number of Kimpton hotels through our real estate investment funds, I am committed to developing additional Kimpton hotels and I look forward to seeing Kimpton go from strength to strength as part of IHG."

Kimpton was established in 1981 and is currently the largest independent boutique hotel and restaurant business in the United States. When it adds it to its portfolio alongside its Hotel Indigo and EVEN Hotels brands, IHG will have more than 200 open and pipeline boutique hotels across 19 countries.

"I am delighted to welcome all of Kimpton's associates and owners to the IHG family," Solomons concluded. "The culture and values of both companies are well aligned and Kimpton will bring a wealth of expertise and specialist skills to IHG."