Hotel Inns poised to pick up China rival Motel 168

HONG KONG Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. has been picked as the preferred bidder for Shanghai Motel Management Co., according to multiple published reports.

The bid values Shanghai Motel at about US$500 million, about half of the US$1 billion that the seller, a Morgan Stanley real estate fund, had hoped to receive when it put its 59% stake in the company on the market back in February. Morgan has reportedly selected Home Inns over China Lodging Group Ltd., which operates the Hanting Hotels brand.

Shanghai Motel operates China’s Motel 168 budget chain. With more than 260 properties open, Shanghai Motel is the fourth largest China-based hotel operator.

Several other major industry players have previously been unofficially linked to the bidding process, including Accor SA, 7 Days Group Holdings Ltd. and Jin Jiang International Hotels Group.