Accor solidifies its position in Europe and the Middle East by buying Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts for €482 million.
AccorHotels has signed a deal to buy Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts for 560 million Swiss francs (€482 million) in cash.
The acquisition means that Accor further consolidates its footprint in Europe and the Middle East and “accelerates growth notably in key regions where the group has been established for many years, such as Africa and Asia”, the French hotel giant says.
Subject to regulatory approvals, the takeover should be completed during the second half of this year.
The Mövenpick portfolio comprises 84 hotels with more than 20,000 rooms in 27 countries. Founded in Switzerland in 1973, Mövenpick has a particularly strong presence in Europe but has also been growing in the Middle East and Asia and plans to open 42 additional hotels by 2021 with almost 11,000 rooms.
AccorHotels says the company “has high-end expertise in the main hotel-related services”, employing more than 16,000 people worldwide.
Accor is buying luxury-oriented Mövenpick from Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding, which has held the company for two decades. Kingdom has been selling off assets in recent years including, in the last few months, stakes in hotels in Beirut and Damascus, the Financial Times reports.
Kingdom Holding is an investment vehicle of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who was one of those in positions of power detained by the Saudi authorities last year as part of a corruption crackdown.
Many of these men agreed to hand over assets and cash in return for their freedom, although Prince Alwaleed denies he did anything wrong.
“The Mövenpick brand is the perfect combination of modernity and authenticity and ideally complements our portfolio,” said Sébastien Bazin, chairman and chief executive of AccorHotels.
“Its European-Swiss heritage is a perfect fit with AccorHotels. By joining the group, it will benefit from AccorHotels’ power, particularly in terms of distribution, loyalty-building and development.”
He added: “This transaction illustrates the strategy we intend to pursue with the opening up of AccorInvest’s capital: to seize tactical opportunities to strengthen our positions and consolidate our leaderships, as well as leverage our growth.”