Accor not planning to sell hotel brands

Accor not planning to sell hotel brands

Paris: Accor , Europe’s largest hotel group, has no plans to sell any of its hotel brands and plans to expand in India where it wants to open 90 hotels by the end of 2015, chief executive Denis Hennequin said on Monday.

“Today all our brands belong here. We are not going to divest any brand," Hennequin told the annual shareholders’ meeting.

Hennequin took over at Accor in mid-January after Eurazeo and Colony Capital, which own a combined 27.3% of Accor, ousted his predecessor, Gilles Pelisson.

The management shake-up was seen by analysts as leading to an acceleration of asset sales and more franchising at the group. There had also been speculation that Hennequin might seek to slim down Accor’s hotel brand portfolio.

But Hennequin put the emphasis on Monday on laying out an investment plan for emerging countries like India, where he said he saw the greatest potential for growth with plans to have 90 hotels in the country by the end of 2015.

Last month Accor posted robust first-quarter sales and said it expected demand for hotel rooms to continue growing despite unrest in the Middle East and Japan’s earthquake.

Accor, which opened a record 6,600 rooms during the quarter, mainly under management and franchise contracts as part of its asset-light strategy, has confirmed its goal of opening 30,000 new rooms in 2011.

The world’s fourth-largest hotel group behind InterContinental , Marriott and Starwood has operations in 90 countries and 4,200 hotels ranging from the luxury Sofitel chain to the budget Ibis and Motel 6 operations.

Accor’s shares were up 0.17% at €31.56 by 1056 GMT on Monday, giving it a market value of €7 billion .