InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Pro Invest Group have entered into a multiple development deal to develop 15 new Holiday Inn Express hotels in Australia.

To build and operate a portfolio of 15 hotels, Pro Invest has generated a $150m fund and created a property development and hotel operating firm.

The 15 hotels will have approximately 2,150 rooms and will be built in central business, suburban and airport locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

The first of the 15 hotels will be Holiday Inn Express North Ryde, which will open at Macquarie Park in North Ryde, Sydney, in autumn 2014.

Holiday Inn Express North Ryde will feature 190 rooms and will offer guests free breakfast and free Wi-Fi.

Pro Invest principal Ronald Barrott said the $150m fund is comprised of a group of offshore investors who see the potential of investing in the Holiday Inn Express brand and Australia.

"We believe now is the time to grow this brand in the market and travellers will certainly benefit from having one of the world’s biggest hotel brands to choose from," Barrott added.

"My previous experience in the UK tells me this partnership with IHG will be a long and successful one, and that there is plenty of opportunity to grow this initial portfolio of 15 Holiday Inn Express hotels to become many more in the years to come."

IHG Asia, Middle East and Africa CEO Jan Smits said the company’s current brands in Australia – InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn – are already well-known and regarded by the hotel owners, and Holiday Inn Express is a welcome addition.

"We announced our first signing under this brand earlier this year and that hotel will open in Perth, Western Australia in 2015. Pro Invest’s portfolio will launch with the opening of Holiday Inn Express North Ryde in autumn 2014," Smits added.

"We have established a strong hotel franchising model to provide owners and investors in Australia, such as Pro Invest, with a reliable and profitable alternative to our equally-successful management model."

Image: Pro Invest principal Ronald Barrott. Photo courtesy of InterContinental Hotels Group.