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MONTREAL-Swedish hospitality firm Pandox SA has completed its acquisition of the InterContinental Montreal, a 357-room inn that traded for just over $46 million. Located near the city’s Financial District, the operation will retain its current flag under a 30-year management contract with InterContinental Hotels Group, the new owners announced in a release.

Besides the opportunity to buy into the 14th largest city in North America, the Pandox purchase reflects a rising tide of foreign investment in Canada, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels EVP Alan Tantleff, whose firm negotiated the deal. “With the recent run-up in prices of real estate in Europe and the US, Canada is perceived as a value market,” says Tantleff, further relaying that “this trend is expected to accelerate.”

JLL’s hospitality brokerage team advised the sellers, a partnership of InterContinental and minority owner Cadim, whose parent firm is la Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec. The buyer already owns more than 40 hotels and 10,000 rooms in Europe and the Bahamas, but the InterContinental Montreal is the first North American investment for Pandox. In a release, CEO Anders Nissen calls the InterContinental Montreal “a great property with tremendous potential,” and indicates Pandox is launching a renovation campaign at the property that could exceed $10 million.

According to Tantleff, the InterContinental Hotel is already considered among the city’s premier inns, one that draws from three lucrative sources of occupancy. Group and event activity benefits from a direct underground connection to Montreal’s main convention center, he notes, and the location also is embraced by the business and leisure crowd. Tourism has become a significant piece of the city’s economic base, says Tantleff, and the InterContinental Montreal is located near such popular destinations as the Old Port and the Place des Arts.

Pandox was attracted to the deal by the 26-story property itself and the fundamentals of Montreal’s hotel sector, says Nissen. The city of 3.6 million people is large enough to support growth in the convention trade, he says, and the hotel is further enhanced by being part of Montreal’s World Trade Centre complex. “This acquisition creates a good base for our establishment in Canada and North America,” says Nissen. The InterContinental Montreal offers a full complement of amenities, he adds, including a fitness center, bars, restaurants and even internal function facilities.

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