AccorHotels made significant investments in the last year including three major portfolios – what is the group’s strategy here?
In 2013, the group redefined its business model around its two core missions for maximum operational performance and sustainable growth. HotelServices is a pure fee-oriented hotel manager and brand franchisor, whereas HotelInvest - of which I’m in charge - is a hotel investor and operator that is yield-oriented and balance sheet-driven. HotelServices and HotelInvest are two complementary businesses that interact. With this new real estate roadmap, AccorHotels has clearly chosen to reinforce its hotel investor activity with the aim of building European’s first hotel investor and operator focusing on the economy and midscale segments.
In 2015, we accelerated the transformation of our asset portfolio. As part of the restructuring of HotelInvest’s assets, last April we reported the sale and franchise-back of 29 hotels in Germany and the Netherlands for €234m. In October, we purchased a portfolio of 43 hotels from Foncière des Régions located in France, for €281m.
In December we acquired three hotel asset portfolios from AXA, Invesco, and Deutsche AWM, representing 29 hotels in Europe, for a total of €284m.
In early 2016, AccorHotels entered into exclusive negotiations for the sale of a portfolio of 85 in Europe to a new franchisee hotel operator. Part of these hotels stem from the 2015 acquisitions and included a substitution clause for the buyer, enabling us to immediately integrate these hotels into our dynamic asset management program. The newly created entity will directly acquire these hotels and have access to significant resources to restructure and develop this portfolio. It will be owned by Eurazeo (70%) and AccorHotels (30%). The transformation of HotelInvest is progressing at a fast pace, with more than €1bn worth of transactions in 2015. We are on track to deliver our roadmap and, by completing our three-year plan, significantly increasing performance.
The group has a really diverse collection of brands. Why the breadth of focus?
AccorHotels has indeed a large portfolio of internationally renowned brands covering the full spectrum, with luxury, midscale, economy establishments; brands are a great strength of AccorHotels, this is our specificity and allows us to meet all customers’ desires.
The partnership between Starwood and Marriot signalled a new era of hotel supergroups – how does Accor respond to these kinds of sectoral developments?
The sector is evolving rapidly and changes are coming as fast as ever. We are therefore constantly on the lookout for new opportunities that may arise. Our acquisition last December of Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel (FRHI Holdings Ltd) demonstrates our agility in a fast-changing industry. We are positioning ourselves as a key player in the current industry consolidation process. The acquisition of these 155 hotels and resorts (40 are under development) provides us with robust and global leadership in luxury hotels, a key segment in terms of geographic reach, growth potential and profitability, for long-term value creation.
AccorHotels is a group united by a shared passion for hospitality and driven by a shared promise to make everyone feel welcome. Over 180,000 women and men in almost 3,800 AccorHotels establishments look after thousands of guests everyday in 92 countries. AccorHotels is the world’s leading hotel operator and offers its customers, partners and employees: dual expertise as a hotel operator and franchisor (HotelServices) and a hotel owner and investor (HotelInvest); a large portfolio of internationally renowned brands covering the full spectrum, with luxury, midscale and economy establishments; a powerful marketplace and loyalty programme Le Club AccorHotels; almost half a century of commitment to corporate citizenship and solidarity with the PLANET 21 programme.