Hotel Intercontinental changes hands

The landmark building in Old Town was sold to privately held Czech firm

The luxurious five-star Hotel Intercontinental at the base of Prague’s trendy Pařížská Street in Old Town has changed ownership. It was bought by R2G, the investment group of Czech billionaire Oldřich Šlemr.

The total price of the transaction was not disclosed, but it is estimated to have exceeded Kč 5 billion.

Before the sale, it had been widely rumored that the new owner would be Chinese firm CEFC China Energy, which has made a number of previous investments in the Czech Republic.

The transaction with R2G as the new owner should be settled by the server in January.

The hotel has had several owners since the Velvet Revolution.

“The Intercontinental Hotel is a long-term investment opportunity for us. We are glad that will have the opportunity to manage and further develop this important Prague property, which is part of Czech cultural heritage, in the future in accordance with its tradition and reputation,” R2G direct investment director Jakub Dyba said, according to media reports.

Oldřich Šlemr made his fortune with the rubber company ČGS Holding, which he sold in 2015 for Kč 15 billion.

Family owned R2G will become the 100 percent owner of the hotel.

Since 2013, the hotel has been owned by Slovak-based Best Hotel Properties, which is majority owned by investment firm J&T.

Before that, it was owned by Westmont Hospitality Group from 2010 to ’13, by Strategic Hotels & Resorts from 1999 to 2010, bank funds as part of privatization from 1990 to ’99, and state travel firm ČEDOK from 1974 to ’90.

Intercontinental Hotel was one of the places that foreigners would stay in Prague during communism. Its guests in that era included Richard Nixon, who visited in 1982. Ray Charles visited in 1981.

Celebrity guests include composer and singer Elton John, actor Tony Curtis, actress Meryl Streep, opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, pop star Michael Jackson, drummer and singer Phil Collins.

The modern-style hotel has 372 rooms. It was designed by renowned Czech architect Karel Filsak and built between 1968 and ’74, with exposed concrete and ribbon windows with tile cladding. Externally, the hotel is split vertically into smaller parts to fit in with other buildings of Prague’s Old Town. The hotel was renovated between 1992 and ’95, overseen by architect Roman Koucký.

Part of the original interior elements by design by sculptor Miloslav Hejný are still preserved. The last interior renovation was in 2002.

The building is listed as an architecturally significant building by the Conservation Office of Prague City Council.

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