The aim of the project is to strengthen AccorHotels' financial resources in order to accelerate growth, while also providing a legal structure that will ultimately enable third-party investors to hold the majority of HotelInvest's capital. AccorHotels would use the additional financial leeway to develop its two business lines and seize new growth opportunities, thereby maximizing the Group's overall value.
Initiated in 2013 and based on a new organizational model, the restructuring of the HotelInvest portfolio has significantly increased the value and profitability of the Group's assets.
Between 2013 and 2015, gross asset value increased from €5.5 billion to €7 billion and the profitability of the portfolio improved significantly, with operating margin standing at 7.8% in 2015 (versus 4% in 2013). As a result, HotelInvest is now Europe's leading hotel investor.
The project would enable HotelInvest to initiate a new phase of dynamic growth, by consolidating its existing asset portfolio through renovations, extensions and repositioning, expanding its network through acquisitions and hotel construction, and implementing an assertive asset turnover strategy.
At a time when the hotel and travel industries are changing profoundly, this project would give AccorHotels significant room for maneuver and greater financial flexibility to implement new initiatives, develop new products and services and, in doing so, capitalize on growth opportunities in the travel and digital spheres that would strengthen the Group's competitive edge.
Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AccorHotels, commented: “As the restructuring begun in late 2013 comes to an end in line with the initial timeframe and objectives, turning HotelInvest into a subsidiary is the new step that offers a wealth of opportunities for AccorHotels. By making it possible to bring in new investors for part of our business, this project will significantly increase the resources available to the Group to consolidate the respective leadership positions of HotelServices and HotelInvest, while also enabling us to continue to leverage synergies between the two business lines. This way, each business will be able to continue to grow within the Group based on a valuation that reflects its specific business model and
growth outlook. At the same time, all of our teams will remain under the AccorHotels umbrella brand.”
The project was given the go-ahead by the AccorHotels' Board of Directors at its meeting on July 12. It will be presented to the appropriate employee representative organizations and submitted for approval to AccorHotels' governing bodies, including the Board of Directors and Shareholders' Meeting. It is expected to be completed by the end of first-half 2017.