Accor reinforces its growth potential
Accor announces it has signed an agreement today to sell its United States Economy Hotels Division to an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII, for a total value of $1.9bn. The network includes Motel 6, the iconic North American brand, and Studio 6, an extended-stay economy chain, and comprises 1.102 hotels (107.347 rooms) in the USA and in Canada.
"I am delighted by the transaction signed with Blackstone, which ensures the future of Motel 6 and its teams in North America, where we will remain present with luxury and upscale flagships under the Sofitel and Novotel brands," said Denis Hennequin, Chairman and CEO."This deal will provide Accor with additional resources to address the tremendous growth potential in the Asia Pacific region, in Latin America and in Europe, where the leadership of our brands is one of the key drivers of our future growth."
Jonathan Gray, Global Head of Real Estate at Blackstone, said, "We are excited about the opportunity to acquire Motel 6 and we look forward to working with its employees and franchisees. Although Motel 6 will be operated on a stand-alone basis, similar to other lodging investments we have made on behalf of our investors, we plan to invest significant capital in the Company’s properties and to accelerate the expansion of the franchise base."
This transaction strengthens the Group’s economic model and follows Accor’s decision to reduce capital employed in Motel 6 and Studio 6, as announced in September 2011. Based on FY 2011 pro forma results, the Group’s restated ROCE increases to 13.9% vs.12.3%, and the EBIT margin reaches 9.2% (vs. 8.7%). The transaction also reinforces Accor’s asset-light profile and further reduces the volatility of the Group’s results, with franchise and management contracts accounting for more than 54% of the pro forma total room portfolio as of March 2012.
As a result of the transaction, Accor will reduce its net debt by approximately €330m and its fixed-lease commitments by c. €525m. The Group will register an exceptional non-cash loss of c.€600m, linked to the early buyout of fixed-lease hotels.
The transaction is scheduled to be completed in October 2012, subject to the unwinding of leases and customary closing conditions.
Accor, the world's leading hotel operator and market leader in Europe, is present in 92 countries with more than 4,400 hotels and 530,000 rooms. Accor's broad portfolio of hotel brands - Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, ibis, all seasons/ibis Styles, Etap Hotel/Formule 1/ibis budget, hotelF1 and Motel 6 - provide an extensive offer from luxury to budget. With more than 180,000 employees* in Accor brand hotels worldwide, the Group offers to its clients and partners nearly 45 years of know-how and expertise.
About The Blackstone Group:
Blackstone (NYSE: BX) is one of the world's leading investment and advisory firms. Blackstone seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for its investors, the companies it invests in, the companies it advises and the broader global economy. The firm accomplishes this through the commitment of its extraordinary people and flexible capital. Blackstone's alternative asset management businesses include the management of private equity funds, real estate funds, funds of hedge funds, credit-oriented funds and closed-end mutual funds. The Blackstone Group also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com.