Marriott International has reached an agreement with Mexican company Hotels City Express to acquire the City Express brand portfolio.

Marriott says that the US$100 million acquisition will make it “the largest hotel in the Caribbean and Latin America”, increasing its presence in the region by 45 per cent, with 486 properties across 37 countries.

The City Express brand portfolio currently comprises 152 hotels across five brands (City Express, City Express Plus, City Express Suites, City Express Junior, and City Centro), with 17,356 rooms across 75 cities in Mexico and Latin America.

Marriott stated in a press release that “the brand and hotel portfolio will become part of its franchise system” upon closing of the transaction, which is estimated to take place between the end of the year and the first half of 2023.

At this point, the brand name will become City Express by Marriott.

Marriott will also acquire the franchise rights to five projects currently under construction, which represent an additional 676 rooms. The hotel group is also interested in further expanding the brand both in the CALA region “as well as in other locations”.

Anthony Capuano, CEO of Marriott International, commented:

“This transaction with Hoteles City Express is a strategic win for Marriott and our customers, associates and owners and franchisees.

“We’re excited to enter a new lodging category – the popular affordable midscale segment where we see significant potential. With City Express by Marriott, we will be providing our customers with more choice through a new, approachable, moderate-priced offering, increasing opportunity for owners and franchisees as well as associates.”

Luis Barrios, CEO of Hoteles City, added:

“When we started thinking about City Express, we were convinced that a modern, efficient, and affordable brand would be very attractive to the local traveler. After our first 20 years, we are very excited and honored to work alongside Marriott, a company we’ve always admired, to take the brand to the next level.

“After having the opportunity to work with the Marriott team, we confirmed that we share common cultural values and a similar approach to hospitality.”

The closing of the transaction is subject to various customary conditions, including the approval by the Federal Economic Competition Commission in Mexico.