AccorHotels has announced the signing of an agreement with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) of Saudi Arabia and Oxford Properties, an Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) company, for the acquisition of FRHI Holdings Ltd (FRHI), parent of Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel.

FRHI includes three of the most prestigious global luxury hotel brands: Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel. It has 155 hotels and resorts (of which 40 are under development), and more than 56,000 rooms (of which approximately 13,000 are under development). Its portfolio includes such legendary properties as Raffles Singapore, The Savoy in London, Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Plaza Hotel in New York.

AccorHotels will pay for the acquisition by issuing 46.7 million new Accor shares and a cash payment of $840 million (€768 million) – Qatar Investment Authority and Kingdom Holding Company of Saudi Arabia are to become major shareholders, with 10.5% and 5.8% of the share capital respectively.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to add three prestigious brands – Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel – to our portfolio, and a great step forward for AccorHotels," says Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AccorHotels.

"It offers us robust and global leadership in luxury hotels, a key segment in terms of geographic reach, growth potential and profitability, for long term value creation. In addition, the deal allows us to strengthen our human capital with FRHI’s widely respected and talented global workforce which has a proven track record in operating and marketing luxury hotels.

"The transaction will also enable the Group to consolidate its shareholder base, with the arrival of two high-profile investors that both have extensive expertise in the hospitality industry. This major acquisition demonstrates the Group’s agility in a fast-changing industry and will allow us to more effectively support our guests, clients and hotel owners.

"Through it, we are positioning ourselves as a key player in the current industry consolidation process while maintaining substantial leeway to implement our transformation plan,” said Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AccorHotels."

His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, CEO of Qatar Investment Authority, said: “Since making our investment, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International has become a leading luxury hotel company with an expanded international presence. This deal generates the scale needed to drive the next phase of growth in our real estate and hospitality investments. QIA has confidence in AccorHotels and looks forward to becoming a significant shareholder.”

With nearly 500 luxury and upscale properties, AccorHotels will become one of the key global players in this segment and will be able to offer the most profitable management contracts and the best growth potential in many markets. FRHI teams will bolster AccorHotels’ expertise in the luxury segment and provide the Group with new ambitions, through targeted, value-creative expansion.

AccorHotels aims to generate around €65 million in revenue and cost synergies thanks to the combination of brands, the maximization of hotel earnings, the increased efficiency of marketing, sales and distribution channel initiatives, and the optimization of support costs. Significant improvements will also be made in terms of customer data, thanks to the integration of a customer base including 3 million loyalty members, of which 75% are North Americans. The transaction will be accretive on earnings per share from the second year, with synergies fully effective by the third year.