Saturday 25 February 2017

Chinese finance groups circling French hotels

Yann Le Guernigou

'The paper said Accor’s chief executive Sebastien Bazin (p) hoped to prevent Jin Jiang from increasing its stake to 29pc which would trigger a public offer.' Photo: Getty
'The paper said Accor’s chief executive Sebastien Bazin (p) hoped to prevent Jin Jiang from increasing its stake to 29pc which would trigger a public offer.' Photo: Getty

The head of hotels giant Accor has held talks with China's HNA to try to thwart an attempt by another Chinese group Jin Jiang to increase its stake in the company, French newspaper 'Le Journal du Dimanche' reported yesterday.

The paper said Accor's chief executive Sebastien Bazin hoped to prevent Jin Jiang from increasing its stake to 29pc which would trigger a public offer.

Jin Jiang holds 15.6pc of Accor shares, according to Thomson Reuters data. Accor shares rose 3.3pc and were the biggest gainers in the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index on Friday, after another paper 'Le Figaro' said Jin Jiang planned to increase its stake in Accor to 29pc.

"According to our information, the CEO of Accor Hotels, who declined to comment, is in contact with another Chinese group HNA, to counter Jin Jiang," 'Le Journal du Dimanche' reported without citing its sources.

The French newspaper said that another option, backed by several ministers, would be for the French state to take a 10pc stake in Accor.

HNA already has a 10pc holding in holiday group Pierre et Vacances and is in exclusive talks to takeover Servair, Air France's catering subsidiary.

Meanwhile, Chinese diversified group Fosun is reported to be in advanced talks to take a 10pc to 15pc stake in tourism and leisure group Compagnie des Alpes.

Compagnie des Alpes specialises in ski resorts, family parks and attractions.

The company, in which French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots (CDC) holds a 39.54pc stake, is looking for partners to beef up its capital and accelerate overseas expansion. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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