Under the terms of the agreement five Akkeron hotels - in Bristol, Bury St Edmonds, Colchester, Peterborough and Kings Lynn - will become Quality hotels while the remaining four - in Winchester, Darlington, Ringwood and Stevenage - will be operated under the Clarion Collection brand.
The move is a significant one for Choice Hotels, who will operate the hotels under franchise, as it will add an extra 611 rooms to its UK portfolio, boosting its presence in the UK hotel market by 25 per cent.
"Akkeron is a strong hotel operator and an ideal company for Choice Hotels Europe to work with and grow its presence in the UK," said Duncan Berry, UK chief executive of Choice Hotels Europe, who is hopeful of adding more Akkeron hotels to his company's portfolio in the future.
Long term strategy
Matthew Welbourn, managing director of Akkeron Hotels Group Limited, which was set up as an investment business by James Brent in 2008, said the agreement was the start of the development of a 'long term strategy' of increasing market share in the UK for both companies.
After purchasing eight Folio hotels in 2009 Akkeron said it hoped to build its portfolio to 150. The company currently operates its 21 hotels under its own brand and the Ramada name in the UK.
The deal with Choice Hotels will include investment in the selected hotels with three of them expected to be integrated into Choice Hotels Europe's online system by the end of February and the remaining hotels by the end of the year.
“It is clear that Choice Hotels is prepared to invest in the UK market in terms of brand and distribution. Alongside the change in brand comes a significant investment into the nine hotels to reposition those businesses along with the conversion to the Clarion Collection and Quality brands,” added Welbourn.
Mark Pearce, senior vice president of Choice Hotels' International Division, said in order to increase the size of its European portfolio it had invested heavily in new technology, which included the introduction of its cloud-based hotel property management system choiceADVANTAGE. The company also gives marketing support to its hotels, adding them to its own online reservations system and to third party websites.