Accor to Sell Polish Orbis plus €1.18bn real estate

Main Photo: Orbis, Poland’s largest hotel group operate virtually all of Accor’s brands

Date: June 2019

Location: Poland and 11 other eastern European countries

Name: Orbis Hotels – 130 hotels

No. of Keys: 20,000+

Seller: Accor (& Buyer!)

Buyer: TBA

Just months after boosting its stake in Poland’s Orbis hotels, Paris hotel giant Accor is to sell its €1.18bn in real estate, buy its contracts business for €286m, and sell its holding in the firm.

In a release the Accor group said it has made material progress in the disposal process of Orbis’ real estate assets, which were valued independently at €1.18bn in December. The move is in line with Accor’s asset-light strategy, adopted last year.

The Accor group currently holds an 85.8% stake in Orbis after increasing its long-held holding in a bid last November, pitched at €442m, for the 47.31% of the chain that it did not own.

Accor said however in a release that it has now begun the process of disposing of its controlling stake in Orbis’ share capital, and intends to approach selected entities in connection with this. In light of these developments, Accor will recognise Orbis’ real estate business as an asset held for sale in its financial statements for first-half 2019, it said.

“Following Orbis’ decision to separate its hotel services business and its real estate assets, Accor agreed with Orbis the key terms of the planned acquisition of the services business for PLN1.2bn (€286m),” the Paris group said. Accor will take over Orbis franchise agreements and management contracts on 136 hotels in central Europe.

The shift of ownership with Orbis will allow Accor to facilitate relationships with investor partners, simplify the disposal of assets by selling its stake, since the transaction will turn Orbis into a pure-play asset-heavy model, it added.

In a separate statement, Orbis President and CEO Gilles Clavie said the move is an important step towards the Orbis transformation to asset-heavy activity. “Entering into exclusive negotiations with Accor, our strategic partner and owner of brands under which all hotels in the group’s network are operating, is mostly driven by the current legal grounds of our long-term cooperation,” he said.

The moves point to an extension of Accor Chairman Sébastien Bazin’s ‘asset-light’ policy begun last year with the decision to partially sell off AccorInvest. Exactly one year ago, in a transaction bringing gross proceeds of €4.6bn, AccorHotels sold 57.8% of AccorInvest to sovereign funds of Saudi Arabia and Singapore – PIF and GIC – as well as institutions Colony NorthStar, Crédit Agricole Assurances and Amundi.

THPT Comment: Hmmmm – not quite sure of the implication here…Orbis want to separate real estate and services….got that, seen it before with many other majors…Accor having got to 85.8% why not take it whole to 100%?

First Seen: Business Immo

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