NISEKO Village ski resort has been bought out by high-profile Malaysian company YTL Hotels and Properties for ¥6 billion (approx. US$66 million), in a deal including the Hilton hotel.
YTL bought the resort from American owners Citigroup Financial Products, in the sale of the 506-room Hilton, the 200-room Green Leaf Hotel, and two 18-hole golf courses.
Niseko Village also encompasses 155 ha of ski mountain, with seven ski lifts and 15 ski trails, leisure amenities, natural hot springs, and 462 ha of freehold land.
YTL president James McBride said the company’s master plan for the resort included a sophisticated village atmosphere with private houses, ski-in-ski out estates, onsens, and a retail and restaurant centre. He said the plans would be inspired by chic destinations like Aspen and Vail in Colorado, Whistler in British Columbia, and St Moritz – Niseko’s Swiss sister city.
YTL has a collection of high-profile luxury properties in its portfolio. Niseko – along with the development
of the Muse Hotel De Luxe in the French resort town of Saint-Tropez – is expected to be a highly complementary asset to YTL’s growing international portfolio, said McBride.
He said the acquisition would enable YTL to participate in one of Japan’s finest ski resort destinations, adding there was huge potential to develop Niseko Village into a world-class, four-season resort through luxury residential and mountain retail development.
“As a company with a very strong financial position, YTL Hotels took advantage of the economic downturn investing in the company’s future growth,” said McBride.
“The locations of these new hotels and resorts were thoughtfully chosen, so we could integrate the local environment and culture seamlessly into our existing collection of properties, bringing out the best of each destination.”
YTL has expanded significantly in the past year, also acquiring Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, China; The Chedi in Phuket, Thailand; and both Pulau Gaya and Pulau Tiga in Borneo.
It is widely known that Citigroup was hit hard during the global financial crisis, and has since been strategically selling off many of its assets around the world.