AccorHotels shareholders have given the green light to finalise its acquisition of FRHI Holdings (FRHI), the parent company of Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel, and the addition of six new directors.
The portfolio of properties comprises 155 hotels and resorts, including the Savoy in London, Raffles Singapore and the Plaza in New York. As part of the payment, AccorHotels is making Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) of Saudi Arabia major shareholders with representation on the board of directors. Chris Cahill has also been appointed the group's CEO of luxury brands to lead the FRHI integration.
During the general meeting today, shareholders also approved the corresponding share capital increase reserved for the QIA and KHC and their board representation. Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo and Ali Bouzarif, proposed by QIA; Sarmad Zok, proposed by KHC; and Jiang Qiong Er, Isabelle Simon and Natacha Valla as independent directors, were appointed.
The board of directors now has 16 members, including one employee representative director. A new employee representative director will be appointed by the group's European Work Council within the next few weeks, in accordance with the company's bylaws.
Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of AccorHotels, said: "I am pleased to welcome QIA and KHC as major shareholders of the group and to have their representatives on the board of directors as from now. With the support of QIA and KHC as well as the active involvement of their representatives in the work of the board of directors, we are ideally placed to keep on implementing our ambitious and value-creating strategy."
A spokesperson for QIA said: "QIA puts its trust in AccorHotels and is pleased to become a significant shareholder of this company. We are convinced of the relevance of this transaction for QIA and fully support the strategy defined by the Board of Directors of AccorHotels and implemented by the group's management team. The acquisition of FRHI positions AccorHotels as a key player in the luxury hospitality industry and strengthens its positioning as the world's leading hotel operator."
Sarmad Zok, chairman and CEO of Kingdom Hotel Investments, added: "The combination of FRHI with AccorHotels is a milestone transaction in the hospitality sector at a time when the industry is undergoing major structural changes characterized by consolidation, consumer empowerment, disruptive technology, and distribution channels. We are confident in the capacity of the group and its executives to implement growth and value-creation opportunities within this context. Kingdom fully supports the current management strategy and looks forward to contributing to Accor's future success."
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