Revealed: Accor and IHG considered merger

A combined firm could have a market value of $17 billion

French hospitality company Accor considered a possible merger with the UK’s InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) – which would have created the world’s largest hospitality company.

French newspaper Le Figaro reported the news, which was then reported by Bloomberg.

it said that Accor Chief Executive Officer Sebastien Bazin created a team in June that included Chief Financial Officer Jean-Jacques Morin and bankers from Centerview and Rothschild, to look into a possible deal.

Accor’s board were in favour of the idea, but Bazin put the project on hold as he thought it wasn’t the right time.

According to Reuters, an Accor-IHG merger would create a US$17 billion super-firm of more than 11,000 hotels. A merger would also put the two firms ahead of rival Marriott in terms of rooms, with more than 1.6 million between them.

A merger would bring together IHG brands such as Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza with Accor’s Raffles, Sofitel and Ibis. It would also save on HQ expenses and loyalty programmes, said Le Figaro.

Geographically, the merger would’ve benefited from Accor’s euro-centric operations and IHG’s more US and China-focused operations.

Analysts Richard Clarke and Harry Martin pointed out the merger would’ve required the two firms to define the brand portfolio, harmonise loyalty schemes and work on relationships between owners.

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