Earlier this week, the Accor Group successfully completed two transactions within the same timeframe: the sale of Orbis to AccorInvest and the sale of Mövenpick hotels’ lease portfolio. Comments on the impact of the Covid-19 on the company’s performance have also been shared, as well as the measures that will be considered according to the evolution of the current situation.
At the end of 2018, Accor announced the sale of an 85.8% stake in the Orbis Group to AccorInvest. Today, following the tender offer launched by AccorInvest on February 5 for an amount of €1.06 billion, AccorInvest now owns 98.6% of Orbis’ capital.
As a reminder, this transaction started with the launching of a tender offer for the capital of Orbis on January 23, 2019 by AccorHotels, which finally raised Accor’s stake at 85.8%. This action laid the foundations for the year, which was strongly marked by the Group's asset-light strategy, such as the sale of 5.2% of AccorInvest's capital to several of the company's shareholders for 204 million euros, the sale of 5% of the capital of the Chinese group Huazhu for 451 million dollars, and the acquisition of the hotel services business from Orbis' real estate assets for 286 million euros. Also in 2019, AccorInvest acquired four hotel assets representing a total of 661 rooms in France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.
The acquisition of the Orbis Group will strengthen AccorInvest’s positioning in the six countries of Eastern Europe, where the Polish-based company’s portfolio is located. As a result of the completion of the acquisition, AccorInvest now holds a portfolio of 900 hotels and 135,000 rooms, the majority of which are in European capitals (AccorInvest data).
As for the Covid-19’s impact on the company’s activities, over the first two months of the year, the net decline in activity due to the epidemic outbreak has had a €20 million impact on EBITDA. As the situation keeps evolving, different tourist destinations have observed low to moderate impacts on their hospitality industry. Since the last week of February, Accor has experienced an accelerated decline in the activity across Europe, particularly in Italy, France and Germany. Exceptional measures have been deployed in order to limit travel as well as public and private events, which was the case of the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the ITB Berlin 2020. Coming back to the Group’s performance within the current outlook, at the end of February, Accor recorded a -4.5% decline in its RevPAR on the same period in 2019 like-for-like. RevPAR in February was down by 10.2% as well.
Although the Group feels that the rapidly changing environment limits their ability to fully assess the financial impact of Coronavirus on their activities, some material savings measures to mitigate the downturn in activity have already been implemented. At the same time, the Group remains confident on their solid financial position that will allow them to take further steps on their share buyback program.
The Accor Group leads the 2020 European ranking of hotel groups with a +2.6% growth and a portfolio of 305,595 rooms. The recent acquisition is, therefore, consistent with the Group's plans of continuing to expand into the upscale (luxury, premium) and lifestyle segments.