Thursday, July 18, 2024

Paris to Vienna: InterGlobe’s new Miiro hotel brand set for Europe launch

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New Delhi: InterGlobe Enterprises Pvt. Ltd is set to launch around a dozen hotels in Europe under its new hotel brand Miiro.

The company is set to enter the European hospitality market beginning mid-July in Paris, followed by Barcelona in August. The entry-level luxury lifestyle hotel brand will continue back-to-back launches into 2025 with London and Vienna, said Neena Gupta, chief executive officer (CEO) of Miiro.



Gupta is also executive director of group strategy and international hospitality at InterGlobe Enterprises, the holding company of InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, which is the listed company that runs IndiGo Airlines. InterGlobe Enterprises owns the hospitality business as well.

The hotel properties are housed under its fully owned entity in the UK which began acquiring hospitality assets in 2018. Today it owns over 2,000 rooms including a 240-room hotel in Melbourne, Australia.

The company is transitioning three upcoming hotels to their new brand. These hotels in 10 countries, including the upcoming three in Paris, Barcelona and London, have been operational since their purchase in 2018 and 2019.

The idea behind the venture was “to purchase high-yield assets in iconic locations.” In 2019, it ramped up its business by acquiring 10 hotels of Austrian hotel company K+K Hotels Elisabeta. This company had two hotels each in Austria and the Czech Republic, and one hotel each in France, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Spain and the UK.

While Gupta did not share the acquisition cost, it was reported in the media that K+K was first purchased by American hotel management company Highgate Hotels and Goldman Sachs as a joint venture in 2015 for $300-350 million, and later sold to InterGlobe in 2019 for about $450 million. InterGlobe has since sold the hotel in Bucharest, Romania.

Earlier this week, Rahul Bhatia, group managing director of InterGlobe Enterprises, sold a 2% stake in InterGlobe Aviation in a block trade for 3,360 crore. The money will be used to expand its hospitality businesses and other developing businesses.

InterGlobe Enterprises said in an exchange filing on 11 June that “the proceeds will be utilised for scaling up IGE’s hospitality and other businesses it is incubating, as well as for general corporate purposes.” On being asked how this money will be put back into the UK company, a spokesperson said this was the only statement it had on the sale of shares.

InterGlobe’s hospitality business is one of the few organized Indian hotel ownership businesses abroad. Others include a handful of hotels owned by the Hindujas and Ambanis in the UK.

In India, InterGlobe Hotels, a partnership of InterGlobe Enterprises and French hospitality group Accor, has about 7,000 rooms across its 30 hotels. The company was set up in 2004 to develop a network of budget hotels in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The objective was to establish a strong budget hotel brand to serve the significant number of budget airline travellers by Indigo.

Accor Asia Pacific (AAPC) and InterGlobe Enterprises had investments split 60:40 for real estate and 70:30 for operations. This initiative made Accor one of the few international hotel companies to directly invest in hotel construction in the region.

Gupta said the affordable luxury or boutique lifestyle brand Miiro targets the 30-plus “frequent and evolved” travellers to the big capital cities of Europe.

They will be priced upwards of €350 a night or $375 a night. Miiro Hotel Le Grand Hôtel Cayré, Paris, will open first in July followed by Miiro Hotel Borneta, Barcelona, in August. This will be followed by Miiro Hotel Templeton Garden, London, in 2025.

“Our move to acquire hotels in Europe was bold because that continent is one of the most mature and sophisticated hotel markets in the world, particularly London and Paris. We are looking to compete with the best in a very difficult market. Being owners and operators of our own properties will give us an advantage,” she said.

“Even though we have been deeply entrenched in the travel and hospitality business in India for the past two decades, we haven’t made our own hotel brand yet in India. In 2017, we decided to set up our hospitality business in Europe mainly as an externalisation strategy. We were focused on acquiring unique assets in iconic city centres in Europe,” she added.

By 2018, the company had acquired its first hotel, at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, with 417 rooms. Later that year, it acquired another asset, the 278-room Reichshof Hotel in Hamburg.

“We are looking to compete with the best independent brands in a very crowded market,” she added. It expects its source markets to continue to come from the UK, US and Europe.

“I am not ruling out India but for the moment the focus is the series of hotels that we are launching in less than two years. Any new brand and product needs consolidation and maturity before we take it to other markets . Miiro is quite unique as it is individualised to its location and is not a cut and paste job,” she added.

InterGlobe’s hotel ownership journey

2004: Partnership between InterGlobe Enterprises and French major Accor Asia Pacific sign to make and operate Ibis Hotels

2015: Highgate Hotels and Goldman Sachs JV purchase K+K Hotels

2018: IG acquires Sheraton hotel at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam (417 rooms); acquires of Reichshof Hotel, Hamburg (278 rooms) which could become a Miiro brand

2018: IG acquires 241-room Quincy Hotel Melbourne, Australia; begins operations in 2021

2019: IG acquires ten-hotel portfolio from Salzburg-based K+K Hotels for approximately $450 million. Sells one hotel in Bucharest

2023: Announces Miiro, a new lifestyle hotel brand in Europe

2024: Rahul Bhatia sells a 2% stake in InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, raising approximately 3,360 crore for hospitality and corporate purposes

2024: Ibis Hotels business owns about 30 hotels in India

2024: IG to formally launch Paris hotel in July; to open Barcelona in August

2025: Slated opening of London property in early 2025. Opening of two hotels in Vienna in mid-2025



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