Accor has announced the disposal of its stake in hotel operating company Orbis to AccorInvest for €1.06b (£890m) as well as the sale and ‘management back’ of its Mövenpick leases, achieving its goal to become a fully asset-light company.
Accor acquired Orbis’ management and franchise business last October for €286m (£240m). The sale is expected to complete by the end of the first quarter 2020.
The French hospitality group also announced it has agreed to restructure Mövenpick hotels’ lease portfolio through a sale and ‘management back’ agreement with HR Group, a German private fund, which will result in a €429m (£361m) reduction of Accor’s consolidated debt.
The agreement comprises 16 hotel leases located in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, including three hotels currently in the pipeline, which will be managed by Accor under a 20-year contract.
Together with recent disposals of a 5.2% stake in AccorInvest and a 5% stake in Chinese hotel management company Huazhu, as a result Accor now intends to focus on shareholder returns, and acquisitions of asset-light hotel companies. For now, Accor has announced a €1b (£840m) return to shareholders over the next 24 months.
Sébastien Bazin, chairman and chief executive of Accor, said: “Accor has now become a fully asset light group. By combining a two-year €1b (£840m) shareholder return programme with the pursuit of a targeted acquisition strategy, the group demonstrates the strength of its new model and its ability to rigorously execute its strategic roadmap.
“We are now focused on the organic growth of our portfolio, the strengthening of our leadership in our key markets, the attractiveness of our brands for our customers and our owners and an unwavering commitment to promoting our values and a distinctive vision of hospitality.”