Jin Jiang ‘weighs boosting Accor stake’
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).