Accor est l'hospitalité. The hospitality company Accor is one of the world's leading hotel operators, owning or managing more than 4,200 properties across the globe. While its largest revenue-generator is France, Accor has hotels in nearly 100 countries. It serves travelers through luxury brand Sofitel; midscale Mercure; economy chain Ibis; and budget brand hotelF1. Its budget brand Motel 6 (part of Accor North America) boasts more than 1,000 properties, most of which are franchised. Accor also operates a handful of additional hotel brands, and owns gourmet restaurants through its Lenôtre subsidiary. Edenred, formerly the services unit that offered prepaid vouchers, separated from Accor in 2010.
Accor split its hotel and services divisions into two separate businesses in 2010 after a long decline in Accor's stock price. The move came in response to shareholder concerns about the struggling hotel division weighing down Accor's growing services operation. Following the demerger, Accor is operating under the goal of becoming Europe's biggest hotel franchiser by 2015.
Accor's hospitality division had accounted for about 75% of revenue before the split, and had been experiencing declining revenue. Under a turnaround strategy, Accor is focused on disposals to cut costs and reduce its adjusted net debt by €2 billion by 2013. As part of plans to dispose of 450 hotels by 2013, the company sold about 170 hotels in 2010.
The company has also been shedding noncore assets -- it sold its Compagnie des Wagons-Lits onboard rail catering business in 2010, and sold its 49% stake in casino group Lucien Barriere to financial holding company Fimalac for €268 million ($350 million) in 2011.
The strategy appears to be working, as Accor's net income shot up to about $4.8 billion in 2010 (compared to a net loss of some $380 million in 2009). Continuing to divest non-hotel assets, in 2011 Accor announced plans to sell Lenôtre to foodservice company Sodexo.
For long term growth, meanwhile, the company in 2011 acquired the hotel management business of Mirvac Limited for €195 million ($254 million) in order to strengthen its position in Australia and New Zealand. This follows plans, announced in 2010, for Accor to invest €1.4 billion ($1.8 billion) on building new hotels over the next five years.
Of the nearly 215 hotels Accor opened in 2010, more than 25% were located in Asia. Future expansion is focused on emerging markets such as China, Brazil, and India. By 2015 the company intends to have 200 hotels in China (up from 100 in 2010) and 225 hotels in Brazil (up from 143 in 2010). Accor also wants to be the number one international operator of hotels in India, with 90 hotels in that country by 2015.
Private equity fund Colony Capital is the company's largest shareholder, with about a 30% stake. Colony's CEO Tom Barrak sits on Accor's board of directors.