Accor spends $1.23bn on buying back hotels

Operator had earlier sold and leased back the hotels

Hotel operator giant Accor is changing its strategy by spending €1.23 billion on buying back 97 hotels in Europe that it had earlier sold and leased back to free up capital.

The strategic change was announced late in 2013 by Sebastien Bazin, who became the group’s chief executive in August. He split the company into two businesses, one operating Accor’s 14 brands worldwide, the other focusing on ownership and investment. The move is a reversal of Accor’s earlier plan to be a brand operator rather than owner.

Accor’s Hotelinvest unit is buying 86 hotels carrying the Ibis, Ibis Budget, Mercure and Novotel brands in Germany and the Netherlands from the private-equity fund Moor Park Capital Partners. It sold them to Moor Park for €747 million in 2007.

It is also buying 11 hotels in Switzerland from Axa Real Estate, which it had earlier sold in 2008 while continuing to operate them.

Wall Street Journal

[pictured: Ibis Muenchen City, Standard room; photo courtesy Accor]

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