Choice Hotels Scandinavia Buys 2 Rivals to Emerge as Stockholm's Top Dog

Vacation News » Vacation & Leisure Real Estate Edition | By Alex Finkelstein | June 29, 2009 8:30 AM ET

(STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN) -- Choice Hotels Scandinavia is not shy on its near-future growth plans.  The chain aims to continue being the top lodging organization in Scandinavia through new acquisitions.

With its announced acquisition today of rival Nordic Light and Nordic Sea, totaling 542 rooms, Choice Hotels Scandinavia emerges as the largest hotel operator in Stockholm.

Terms and price of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The chain already owns Stockholm's two largest hotels, the 532-room Clarion Hotel Stockholm and the558-room Clarion Hotel Sign. 
Choice Hotels Scandinavia AS is Scandinavia's largest hotel chain with more than 165 hotels and more than 9,200 employees.

"The company has great confidence in future opportunities for the Nordic Hotels brand," says Choice Hotels Scandinavia CEO Torgeir Silseth.

"Today's acquisition of Nordic Hotels is a result of our long-term growth strategy in Scandinavia," he says.

"Stockholm is one of our key markets, and Nordic Hotels enjoys a unique position which extends beyond the city. This gives us great flexibility in our continued focus on Scandinavia.

"We are all experiencing tough times in the hotel industry, but here at Choice we have the financial stability needed to look at opportunities over a much longer timescale - opportunities which we certainly see in Nordic Hotels.

"Now we look forward to building upon what Ejnar Söder and Hans Mellström have already achieved."

Nordic Hotels has operated Nordic Sea Hotel and Nordic Light Hotel on Stockholm's Vasagatan, since 2001.

Nordic Light Hotel is a member of Design Hotels. Until today, Nordic Hotels was 60% owned by Ejnar Söder's companies and 40% owned by Hans Mellström's company Viamare Invest. Söder has more than 60 years of experience in the hotel industry.

"Both Nordic Light Hotel and Nordic Sea Hotel have been success stories since day one, and this has been an exciting, enjoyable journey," say Söder and Mellström. "After almost 10 years at the helm, it's time for someone else to take over."

Soder says Choice plans to open the Quality Solna Nationalarena and the Clarion Airport Hotel Arlanda in the next few years.

Nordic Light Hotel and Nordic Sea Hotel will retain the Nordic brand, and will be operated by Choice Hotels. The actual takeover will take place immediately, together with finalizing details for continued operation and focus, Soder says. 

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