Marriott to help Ikea launch budget hotels

A picture taken on July 12, 2011 shows the frontdoor of a capsule hotel for short-term stays, designed by Swedish furniture giant Ikea in the Beaune-Tailly service area on the A6 French motorway. The so-called pop-up Aire de la Sieste - a nap lay-by - targets holidaymaking drivers with 28 free-to-use sleeping capsules. AFP PHOTO / JEFF PACHOUD (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM Ikea says Marriott International Inc. will help it open its new budget hotels across western Europe during the next five years.

The Swedish company, which first announced last year that it will launch the hotel chain, said Tuesday that Marriott, the operator of luxury hotels across the world, will be its partner.

They will develop some 50 hotels with 150-300 rooms each in major cities. The first is scheduled to open in Milan, Italy, next year.

Peter Andrews, head of Inter Hospitality -- part of Inter Ikea's property division -- said the agreement allows the group "to build a high quality hotel property investment portfolio."

Ikea, the world's largest furniture retailer, already owns a handful of hotels. Marriott International has more than 3,700 properties in 74 countries and territories.