Saturday 24 February 2018

Hotel giant Accor up on sell-off plan

Picture posed
Picture posed

Jack Sidders

Shares in Europe's biggest hotel group Accor, rose to their highest level since December 2015 on reports the business is in takeover talks.

The French multinational's brands range from the luxury Raffles and Fairmount names to the Novotel and Ibis.

Shares rose after property market bible Estates Gazette reported that the French company is in exclusive talks to sell a majority stake in its €6.6b HotelInvest real-estate business.

A consortium of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, French asset manager Amundi and US real estate investment trust Colony NorthStar is expected to acquire about 80pc of the unit within two months, Estates Gazette said.

HotelInvest owned and leased about 1,180 hotels at the end of June, according to the company's website.

Shares in Accor rose as much as 5pc and the shares were trading in Paris at €42.53 a share at 3:28pm.

The capital raised from a property sale would help fund new projects to boost operations and expand the company's network, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Carmen Lee wrote in a January note.

The unit accounts for almost 70pc of the company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and has generated more than €637m each year since 2014, Ms Lee wrote.

Spokesmen for Accor, Amundi, GIC and Colony NorthStar did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

PIF couldn't immediately comment. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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