April 12, 2018

AccorHotels to acquire stake in South African Mantis Group

Dami Adepoju

AccorHotels is France’s and Europe’s biggest hotel operator with over 20 hotel brands, including the Sofitel and Novotel, and 4,300 hotels in 100 countries.  Africa and the Middle East represent 8 per cent of the company’s portfolio with 205 hotels and 47,900 rooms (and a pipeline of 115 hotels and 32,400 rooms).  It operates in 14 Sub-Saharan countries including many francophone markets and also anglophone markets like Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa.

Mantis Group is a private, family-run business that operates a collection of boutique hotels, game reserves, eco lodges, ski lodges, chalets and yachts, located globally across all seven continents.  These properties are privately owned, managed and branded by the group.  Mantis currently operate three properties in Nigeria, including recently opened The Envoy Hotel Abuja.  It also operates the Villa Monticello in Accra, Ghana.

AccorHotels, in recent times, has ventured outside the hotel space to acquire more innovative companies such as its 2016 acquisition of onefinestay (a private luxury rental company).  Other spaces it operates in are: concierge services; coworking providers; dining and events; and digital solutions.  In a continuing effort to keep reinventing and expanding, the company has signed a strategic agreement for a partnership with Mantis, a South African hospitality and travel company.   This agreement will see AccorHotels acquire a 50 per cent ownership stake in Mantis Collection.  According to Bloomberg, AccorHotels sold 55 per cent of its real estate business for approximately US$5.4 billion in February 2018, in order to fund this deal and further the company’s emerging market growth.

According to Sebastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels, the partnership with Mantis Collection will reinforce AccorHotel’s footprint in Africa, allowing the group to add 28 managed properties to its already extensive African portfolio.  Adrian Gardiner, Founder and Chairman of Mantis, commented that the agreement would afford his company access to AccorHotel’s robust distribution channels and global reach.  Both parties highlighted their commitment to preserve the environment and to “combine the vision of embodying conservation and education goals.  To this effect, the announcement of the partnership was accompanied by the launch of Community Conservation Fund Africa, an NGO that will seek to prevent the accelerating decline of Africa’s wildlife and unify three conservation organizations.

The deal will be subject to regulatory approvals.

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