AccorHotels will buyout Australia’s second largest hotel group Mantra as it continues its rapid expansion.
Mantra Group has agreed to the $1.2 billion offer from Accor Hotel Group to acquire all its shares.
The Australian Financial Review reports that the Mantra board today told the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) that it had entered into a binding agreement where in which Accor will acquire all of its shares at a price of $3.96 including a potential special dividend, by way of a scheme of arrangement.
AccorHotels, a Paris-based multinational hotel group, already operates the Sofitel, Novotel, Grand Mercure, Mercure and IBIS brands in Australia.
Under the direction of CEO Sebastien Bazin (who took the reins in 2013), the group has been rapidly expanding through acquisition. The first major move came in 2014 when Accor’s investment arm bought two real estate portfolios representing a total of 97 hotels, for €900 million.
It then bought FRHI Holdings Limited in 2015 for $2.9 billion, which included the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel operations.
If Mantra shareholders, and national and international industry regulators approve the move in February next year, Accor would own 300 hotels in Australia, nearly five times the size of its next biggest competitor, Choice Hotels.
Speaking at the recent South America Hotel Investment Conference in Buenos Aires, AccorHotels CEO Sébastien Bazin told Hotel News Now that if the company doesn’t take risk it will be left behind.
“In today’s world, either you change or you will be changed,” he said. “So either you act and then you make some hard decisions and take some risk … (or) somebody is going to be acting for you—that’s somebody called Booking.com, Expedia, Airbnb, Google, Amazon, Facebook.”
When the offer was tabled earlier this week, Mantra CEO Bob East told the Gold Coast Bulletin the board wasn’t actively pursuing suitors.
“The business wasn’t for sale, but obviously if parties make an approach then it’s incumbent on the board to act in the best interests of shareholders,” Mr East said.
“Obviously this is something that has presented itself to us — it’s not a situation where were looking for suitors.”