Accor snaps up 15 Ibis hotels

Accor has bought 15 Ibis hotels from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Accor’s $200 million purchase of 15 budget hotels from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority ­heralds the start of the French hotel chain’s long-term plan to dominate Australia’s fragmented hospitality sector, as major ­international hotel chains continue to merge.

Accor has restructured the ­entire 31 Accor-branded hotel portfolio, which the $US875 million ($1.2 billion) ADIA — the Middle East’s largest sovereign wealth fund — bought three years ago.

Accor has purchased 15 Ibis and Ibis Budget hotels and will convert a further 16 Accor-branded hotels from 15 triple-net leases (where it was paying all real estate taxes and maintenance, as well as rent) to 50-year management agreements under the deal.

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The hotelier has also negotiated the extension of management terms over one hotel to 50 years.

The restructure of the 31 hotels ADIA bought from TAHL three years ago breaks up longer-term financing structures set up more than a decade ago.

The hotel development boom is coming at a time of major investment in infrastructure, including airports and convention centres

“This investment in our hotel network is a signal of our continued focus on supporting the group’s growth strategy by holding a selective portfolio of profitable hotel assets, which also underpins one of the strongest development pipelines we’ve seen for years,” says Simon McGrath, AccorHotels Pacific’s chief operating officer.

Despite Marriott’s recent $US14bn purchase of Starwood, creating the world’s largest hotel brand, Accor says it has the largest hotel portfolio in the Pacific region, with more than 20 hotels or 3500 rooms in the pipeline opening in the next three years.

McGrath says this year would be one of the busiest development periods on record for the hotelier, which aims to sign one new hotel each month.

Ten Accor hotels with more than 2000 rooms were expected to open this year, with a further 11 due to open next year, McGrath says.

“The hotel development boom is coming at a time of major investment in infrastructure, including airports and convention centres,” he says.

“The development of these facilities and the construction of new venues and attractions relies on new accommodation being added.”

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.