Accor, the Paris-based hotel group, is reportedly a top contender for the acquisition of the Louvre Hotels Group, which is currently owned by the U.S.-based Starwood Capital Group. Starwood Capital, a private investment firm with a focus on global real estate (and onetime owner of Stawood Hotels) obtained the Louvre Hotels portfolio as part of its acquisition of Taittinger’s hotel and champagne empire in 2005, in a US$3.2 billion acquisition.
At the time, the hotel group was operating as Societe du Louvre – it owned 14 luxury hotels and the second-largest budget hotel chain in Europe. Now, the hotel operates six brands – Premiere Classe, Campanile, Kyriad, Tulip Inn, Golden Tulip and Royal Tulip – with more than 1,100 hotels in 43 countries.
Louvre Hotels is active in eight African countries, including eight hotels in Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Tanzania, under its Golden Tulip and Tulip Inn brands, and with plans to open new hotels in at least 10 more sub-Sahaharan African countries (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea-Conakry, Kenya, Rwanda, DRC and Ethiopia).
As reported by Reuters, “Accor is looking at the dossier but the process is at an early stage”. Blackstone is also reportedly among the bidders who have submitted a non-binding offer for the hotel portfolio. The deal could potentially fetch Starwood Capital upwards of US$1.9 billion. If it does go through, this will increase Accor’s hotel portfolio by over 30 per cent, thus strengthening its already dominant presence in Africa even further. The deal could also expand Accor’s budget hotel portfolio and create more opportunities to develop much-needed budget and economy brands in more locations in sub-Saharan Africa.