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Accor Agrees to Sell Dozens of Inns for $1.1b
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Accor SA, Europe's biggest hotel operator, agreed to sell 72 hotels in Germany and 19 in the Netherlands to Moor Park Real Estate for 863 million euros (US$1.1 billion), Bloomberg News reported yesterday.


Accor will lease the hotels, which have a total of 12,000 rooms, from closely held Moor Park for as long as 84 years, the Paris-based hotelier said in a statement. Based on 2006 revenue, the French company said it would have paid rent of 49.5 million euros on the properties last year.


"The terms of the operations are good for Accor," said Guillaume Rascoussier, an analyst at Oddo & Cie. "We are convinced there is more to come in terms of asset management and cash returns."


Hotel firms are increasingly selling properties to focus on management contracts. Accor has sold more than 200 lodges in the past year including those yesterday.


Accor last month sold 30 hotels in the United Kingdom to Land Securities Group Plc for 474 million pounds (US$912 million).


"The transaction enables Accor to join forces with a company that is already established in the German real estate market," Accor said. "As part of the agreement a long-term development partnership will be launched, enabling Accor to step up its expansion program in Germany and the Netherlands."


Accor said in September it plans to sell 535 hotels for 3.2 billion euros by the end of 2008. The company sold 261 properties for 1.6 billion euros in the previous 18 months.


Yesterday's transaction enables Accor to cut its adjusted net debt by 612 million euros, of which 215 million euros will be added to the group's cash reserves, said the hotelier.


(Shanghai Daily by Peter Woodifield March 7, 2007)


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