• Nikko delivers highest profile collapse outside of US

Despite doom laden headlines for the hotel sector at the start of this downturn, there have been comparatively few high profile corporate collapses.

The failure of JAL last week, the Japanese flag carrier, creates arguably the highest profile hotel company victim outside of the US in the form of Nikko Hotels.

Nikko currently has 45 properties, 28 in Japan and 17 overseas. There are an additional 13 properties branded as JAL City hotels in Japan.

The restructuring plans forced onto the airline will see it divest its non-core assets, including the hotel business. The company is one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in Japanese history, possibly the largest outside of the financial sector, and its demise has been long heralded.

The restructuring process is set to take three years although the target is to reach profitability by 2012. The Japanese government is supporting the restructuring with Y900bn ($10bn).

Part of the cause of JAL's demise has been the success of its rival ANA. InterContinental formed a joint venture to operate ANA's hotels in 2006.

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