Jin Jiang ‘weighs boost­ing Ac­cor stake’

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By BLOOMBERG

Jin Jiang In­ter­na­tional (Hold­ings) Co, which con­trols China’s largest lodg­ing com­pany by mar­ket value, is con­sid­er­ing in­creas­ing its stake in French hote­lier Ac­cor SA, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said.

Jin Jiang, al­ready Ac­cor’s big­gest share­holder with an al­most 12 per­cent stake, could build up its own­er­ship in the Paris-based com­pany to about 20 per­cent, the peo­ple said.

The Shang­hai-based com­pany would be in­ter­ested in gain­ing more in­flu­ence over Ac­cor’s man­age­ment, ac­cord­ing to the peo­ple, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied be­cause the de­lib­er­a­tions are pri­vate.

Ac­cor shares jumped 5.6 per­cent to 39 eu­ros ($44) in Paris trad­ing on Tues­day, the big­gest gain since June 2012.

An ad­di­tional 8 per­cent stake would be worth about 735 mil­lion eu­ros at Ac­cor’s cur­rentshareprice, dat­a­com­piled by Bloomberg show.

Ac­cor has hired its own ad­vis­ers to guide man­agers on how to pro­ceed, the peo­ple said.

“Jin Jiang is one of the fastest-grow­ing Chi­nese com­pa­nies in the ho­tel in­dus­try, and they’ve been look­ing to in­vest more out­side of China,” Wouter Geerts, a lodg­ing an­a­lyst at Euromon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional in Lon­don, said by phone on Tues­day.

“Now that more Chi­nese trav­el­ers are tak­ing in­ter­na­tional trips, it’s im­por­tant for Jin Jiang to ben­e­fit from that.”

Both com­pa­nies have been part of the re­cent wave of con­sol­i­da­tion in the ho­tel in­dus­try. Jin Jiang, which owns Shang­hai’s more than eight-decade-old Peace Ho­tel, has been build­ing its stake in Ac­cor in a bid to ex­pand its global fran­chise af­ter it bought Groupe du Lou­vre in 2014.

Ac­cor, Europe’s big­gest ho­tel op­er­a­tor, said last week it agreed to buy One­fines­tay for 148 mil­lion eu­ros to ex­pand in the lux­ury ser­viced­mar­ket.

Jin Jiang hasn’t made a fi­nal de­ci­sion, and it­may opt to keep its cur­rent share­hold­ing level, ac­cord­ing to the peo­ple. A spokes­woman for Ac­cor de­clined to com­ment, while rep­re­sen­ta­tives for Jin Jiang didn’t an­swer sev­eral phone calls seek­ing com­ment on Tues­day.

Chi­nese com­pa­nies have an­nounced $97 bil­lion of over­seas deals in the first three months of the year, part of an un­prece­dented shop­ping spree that’s al­ready close to top­ping the to­tal amount spent in ei­ther of the last two years, Bloomberg-com­piled data show.

The trend is poised to con­tinue into the sec­ond quar­ter. HNA Group Co, the owner ofChina’s fourth-largest car­rier, said onMon­day it agreed to buy Swiss air­line cater­ing com­pany Gate­groupHold­ing AG for 1.4 bil­lion francs ($1.5 bil­lion).

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