Accor announces strategic partnership with China Lodging

December 14
10:00 PM 2014

French hotel operator Accor announced a strategic alliance with China Lodging Group on Sunday to create a major new player in the fast-growing Chinese domestic travel and hospitality market.

The deal will combine the French hotel operator's brands including Ibis with more than 2,000 existing establishments run by China Lodging's Huazhu Hotels, the companies said in a statement.

The partnership "will leverage the strengths of Accor's global brands with a leading player in Chinese hospitality," Accor Chairman and Chief Executive Sebastien Bazin said in the statement.

Huazhu aims to open 350 to 400 new hotels under Accor brands in the next five years, the companies said.

Under the deal, Accor said it would acquire a 10 percent stake in Huazhu and a seat on its board, in return for which the company will become Accor's main franchisee in China. Financial terms were not disclosed for the deal.

Travel and tourism companies are seeking new opportunities in China's developing market for domestic leisure travel.

Center Parcs owner Pierre & Vacances unveiled a partnership deal with developer Beijing Capital Land on Dec. 4 to build holiday sites at destinations including Shanghai and Beijing.

Larger French rival Club Mediterranee remains at the center of France's longest-ever takeover battle, pitting agreed Chinese bidder Fosun against Italian tycoon Andrea Bonomi.

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