Accor sells US hotels to Blackstone
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Chairman Denis Hennequin (R) sits near marketing chief Gregoire Champetier. AFP photoFrench hotel giant Accor said yesterday it had completed the sale of its U.S. budget hotel division including Motel 6 to the Blackstone investment fund for $1.9 billion (1.5 billion euros).
“This transaction allows Accor to reduce its adjusted net debt by about 780 million euros,” Accor said in a statement.
At the end of August, Accor’s net debt totaled roughly 804 million euros.
When the sale was announced in May Accor said it would also use the funds to tap into growth in Asia.
The sale of 1,102 hotels with 107,347 rooms in the United States and Canada includes the Motel 6 chain and Studio 6, an extended-stay economy chain.
It leaves Accor with 17 Sofitel and Novotel hotels in North America.
Chief Executive Denis Hennequin has called the Motel 6 sale an “important step” in Accor’s plans to restructure its business model.
The company said at the end of August it was accelerating its plans to cut the number of rooms it owns directly in favor of franchising and management contracts after posting a net loss of 532 million euros in the first half of the year.
Accor, which owns brands from the budget F1 to upscale Pullman, has been reducing its real estate assets, which tie up capital, even as it rapidly expands the number of rooms it offers. In particular it has targeted expansion in Asia to cash in on the region’s growing affluence.