|Kyodo News International,
TokyoMcClatchy-Tribune Business News
Apr. 13, 2007 - TOKYO -- All Nippon Airways Co. said Friday it will sell 13 domestic hotels to U.S. brokerage group Morgan Stanley for 281.3 billion yen (US$2.37 billion) as part of retrenchment measures.
Under the deal, decided at an ANA board meeting earlier in the day, the land and buildings of the hotels will be sold, and the airline will continue to operate the hotels, the airline said.
ANA is expected to reap about 130 billion yen in profit from the sale, according to sources close to the matter.
Foreign brokerage firms and investment funds have been accelerating real-estate investments in central Tokyo, where land prices are rising in line with Japan's economic recovery.
Morgan Stanley has already acquired a large-scale office building in Tokyo and other properties in Japan.
ANA had sought a buyer for the hotels through an auction, and real estate companies and investment funds at home and abroad had made bids.
The 13 hotels include the company's flagship hotel ANA InterContinental Tokyo, located in Minato Ward, as well as hotels in Hokkaido, Toyama, Ishikawa, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Okinawa and other prefectures.
ANA said that together with InterContinental Hotels Group of Britain it will continue to operate the hotels after Morgan Stanley purchases them, and the names of the hotels will remain unchanged.
Japanese airlines are now focusing their financial and manpower resources on core airline businesses ahead of the 2010 expansion of Haneda airport in Tokyo.
Last October, ANA announced the sale of 74 percent of its stake in its hotel managing unit to InterContinental.
In a similar move, Japan Airlines Corp. has sold hotels in Tokyo and Okinawa to U.S. investment funds Aetos Capital and Lone Star, respectively.
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