Skift Take

This minor move will make Accor the single shareholder in an events specialist it had jointly owned. Several of Accor's recent moves feel like watching a homeowner fix up a house to make it easier to sell at a future date.

Accor, the Paris-based hotel giant, said Friday it had begun “exclusive” talks with Andera Partners and partner investors to take a 63% stake in Potel & Chabot Group, an events specialist. Until now, Accor had a minority shareholding.

Accor didn’t disclose the price or deal terms. But it said it planned to close the transaction within a few months. Pre-pandemic, Potel & Chabot said it generated more than $110 million a year in revenue. On Friday, it said the unit is expected to generate sales of $145 million (around €130 million) in 2023.

Potel & Chabot is a leading caterer and event organizer for more than 10,000 corporate and private receptions a year worldwide. The vendor typically services major sporting events like the Roland-Garros tennis tournament. It also manages reception venues in multiple countries.

Simplifying Its Empire?

Clarifying its holdings and moving away from joint ventures may have the side benefit of giving Accor a Plan B option of selling its luxury and lifestyle division, or all of itself, years from now — meaning that it will make it clearer to prospective buyers the value of what it actually controls.

In 2017, Accor partnered with Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners to take a stake in Potel & Chabot. Since then it has used the partnership to develop food and beverage offerings for meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (MICE) guests and to provide access to special events for members of the hotel group’s loyalty program.

Industry observers will watch if the hotel giant further simplifies its minority holdings by buying out stakes in its other joint ventures. Last November, Accor increased its shareholding in Paris Society, another joint venture, for about $72 million (€67 million) — taking control with 95% of the voting rights.

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Tags: accor, future of lodging, meetings, meetings and events, mergers and acquisitions, mice

Photo credit: An exceptional soiree in Paris in 2011 managed by Potel & Chabot, an events specialist. Source: Potel & Chabot.

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