The prospect of French hotel group Accor bidding for rival InterContinental Hotels Group has been raised in a French newspaper report.
Combining two of the world’s largest hotel companies would eclipse Marriott International and claim the top spot with 11,000 hotels and combined revenues of £7 billion excluding the impact of Covid-19.
Le Figaro claimed that Accor chief executive Sabastien Bazin put together a team in June with finance chief Jean-Jacques Morin and investment banks Centerview and Rothschild to investigate a possible approach.
Accor’s board was in favour in principle, but Bazin decided it was not the right moment to move ahead.
One of the ideas mooted by Accor involved seeking private equity backing to make a play for IHG, according to The Times.
However, no approach has been made.
Accor said it did not comment on market speculation, while IHG declined to comment.
Accor has 5,099 mainly managed hotels in 110 countries under brands such as Raffles, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis. It is Europe’s biggest hotel group and also controls the luxury Fairmont brand.
IHG’s portfolio comprises 5,918 hotels with 883,000 rooms in more than 100 countries, most of them franchised. Brands include Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Indigo, Kimpton and Staybridge Suites.