Saudi, Singapore SWFs close €4.6b AccorInvest buy

Sovereign wealth funds, Singapore's GIC and Saudi Arabia's PIF have joined forces with French investors Credit Agricole Assurances and Amundi as well as US asset manager Colony NorthStar to take a 57.8% stake in AccorInvest, the hotel ownership division of French hospitality giant AccorHotels, for €4.6 bn.

AccorHotels spun off its hotel ownership division into a stand-alone legal entity last summer and said in January that it was entering discussions with potential investors to give up control of the division to strengthen the company's financial position and allow HotelInvest to expand.

A deal with a consortium led by GIC and PIF was first announced in February.

Following closing of the transaction, the French hospitality giant retains a 42.2% stake in AccorInvest, a division which will no longer be included in the group’s consolidated financial statements.

Over time, Accor plans to sell down its remaining stake in AccorInvest to 30% and subsequently to reduce it further after a five-year lock-up period. Under the deal, the AccorInvest hotels will continue to be operated by AccorHotels under 50- and 30-year lease agreements including 15- and 10-year renewal options.

Augmented hospitality
'By completing the sale of close to 58% of the capital of AccorInvest, we have successfully finalized the transformation process begun five years ago,' said Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AccorHotels. 'The deal enables us to further accelerate the development of AccorHotels by focusing our resources and energy on strengthening our brand portfolio and our leadership position in key markets, and on pursuing our strategy of delivering innovation and excellence to our guests and hotel owner partners. With our new, primarily asset-light structure, we will be able to deploy our ambitious and disruptive vision of "augmented hospitality" to the full.'

John Ozinga, Chief Executive Officer of AccorInvest, said: 'Today is the start of a new chapter for AccorInvest. With greater resources and fully engaged teams, we are now going to speed up the consolidation of our portfolio, the renovation and repositioning of our assets, and the development of new projects. Drawing on the strength of AccorHotels’ brands, we intend to cement our position as the leading hotel investor in Europe by enhancing the attractiveness and value of our hotel portfolio.'

With close to 30,000 employees and operations in 27 countries, AccorInvest is the world leader in hotel real estate, with a portfolio of 891 hotels, with a majority located in Europe. Of the total, 324 are owned and 567 are operated under fixed or variable-rent leases.

As per year-end 2017, AccorInvest had assets worth nearly €4.8 bn and held €1.5 bn of total liabilities. It reported a profit of €71 mln over the year 2017, and posted revenues of €3.9 bn in the same period.


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