France’s Accor to exit Australian fund, sell two Beijing hotels

French hotel operator Accor SA (EPA:AC) said today it will sell its interest in an Australian fund plus two hotels in Beijing to a newly-created hotel investment trust, called A-Htrust, for a combined EUR110m (USD135.1m).

Accor will divest its 21.9% stake in Ascendas Australia Hospitality Fund, previously known as Mirvac Wholesale Fund, for the sum of EUR56m. This fund holds seven properties of which six are operated by Accor in Australia and New Zealand.

In addition, the company will dispose of the 305-room Novotel and 401-room Ibis hotels in Beijing under a sale and management back contract for EUR54m. The seller noted that the Ibis divestment is subject to administrative authorisations applying in China.

Meanwhile, Accor will acquire a 6.9% interest in A-Htrust for EUR32m, while Ascendas will take up to 35% in the newly-formed and publicly-listed hotel investment trust. The French party will also have the right of first offer to manage future purchases, when the hotels are not managed under a pre-existing contract. A-Htrust will, in turn, have the right of first offer to buy hotels in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Australia and India, that are put on sale by Accor.

The new partnership will help Accor accelerate its expansion as well as its asset-management policy in the Asia-Pacific region, it said.