French hotel chain Accor has sold two of its Sofitel properties in the USA for $225m (£116m) to help cut its debt.
The properties in New York and Philadelphia have been sold to a joint venture, including GEM Realty Capital, Whitehall Street Real Estate Fund and Accor, which was created in March 2006 and already owns six US Sofitel hotels.
Accor will remain a 25% shareholder in the joint venture and will continue to manage the hotel on a 25-year contract under the Sofitel brand.
A statement by Accor said the deal was part of the group's asset management strategy and "completes Accor's transformation of its Sofitel business model for North America with a hotel base operated primarily under management contracts."
The sale should reduce debt by more than €150m (£77.6m) and will help increase the company's 2007 annual profit before tax.
By Emily Manson
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