IHG snaps up Six Senses to bolster luxury positioning

The 40-villa Six Senses Krabey Island (pictured) opens on March 1 this year in Cambodia

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the acquisition of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas and its management business, a move that is expected to amp up the hospitality giant’s luxury footprint, and provide instant entry into some of the world’s most sought-after locations.

The US$300 million cash acquisition from Pegasus Capital Advisors includes all of Six Senses’ brands and operating companies, but does not include any real estate assets. The sale includes the management of 16 hotels and resorts (1,347 rooms), 37 spas and sister companies Evason and Raison d’Etre. The Six Senses management will remain in place.

The 40-villa Six Senses Krabey Island (pictured) opens on March 1 this year in Cambodia

As an asset-light business, Six Senses currently manages 16 hotels and resorts, with 18 management contracts signed in its pipeline, and a further 50 deals under active discussion.

Following the acquisition, IHG expects to accelerate Six Senses’ growth globally to more than 60 hotels over the next 10 years. This includes bringing Six Senses to important urban markets, with a property already under construction in West Chelsea, Manhattan, New York City, IHG said in a statement.

IHG also revealed that Six Senses will sit at the top of its luxury portfolio, complementing luxury hotel brand, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts; the recently acquired and repositioned Regent Hotels & Resorts; and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, for which IHG has secured a presence in 14 countries, since its acquisition of the brand in 2015. The latest acquisition of Six Senses takes its portfolio of open and pipeline luxury hotels to 400 hotels (108,000 rooms) globally.

Keith Barr, CEO of IHG, commented: “Six Senses is an outstanding brand in the top-tier of luxury and one we’ve admired for some time. You only have to look at its iconic hotels and resorts to see how this acquisition will further round out our luxury offer. With a focus on wellness and sustainability, Six Senses has been voted the world’s top hotel brand for the past two years, which is testament to its impressive management team who bring deep experience to IHG’s luxury operations.

“Six Senses’ attractive development pipeline provides us with a platform for high quality growth. With the power of the IHG enterprise, we believe we can expand Six Senses to more than 60 properties globally over the next decade. This acquisition continues the progress we’ve made against the strategic initiatives we outlined a year ago, which included a commitment to adding new brands in the fast-growing US$60 billion luxury segment.”

Neil Jacobs, CEO, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, added: “This is an exciting new era for Six Senses… Joining forces with IHG means we can use a wealth of systems and operational excellence to grow our brand and reach new markets without losing our quirky personality and playful touch. It’s been a great pleasure to work with Pegasus over the last six years and we would never have reached this milestone without their vision and deep involvement.”

Over the next 12 months, Six Senses will open properties in destinations ranging from the private island of Krabey in Cambodia, a circuit of five lodges in Bhutan, to a 14th-century-old restored fort in Rajasthan. Additional projects are currently under way in Austria, Brazil, Mainland China, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan and Thailand.

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