A French newspaper Le Figaro reported earlier today that Accor had studied a merger with IHG, and the board is in favor of while the CEO is more cautious.

The combined entity would have roughly 11,000 hotels (IHG 6,000 and Accor 5,000) under 53 brands (IHG 16 and Accor 37). Accor has refused to comment on rumors.

Here's an excerpt from the Le Figaro (Google translate):

The unprecedented crisis that shakes the global hotel industry continues to worry professionals. The Covid-19 is still lurking, which risks slowing the rebound after the sudden stop to travel. The most responsive of the giants of the sector are looking for the best solution to emerge stronger from the crisis.

According to our information, Accor has thus studied a merger project with its rival IHG. Sébastien Bazin, its CEO, created a team dedicated to this project in early June, with its financial director, Jean-Jacques Morin, and the investment banks Centerview and Rothschild. On Wednesday, the group declined to comment.

IHG brands: Accor brands: Conclusion

It wouldn't surprise if the current trading environment led to a merger or two. Not sure, however, if IHG and Accor would be the perfect match.

Both are stronger in the select-service than the luxury segment, while the geographical distribution is more complementary.

How could any company handle and continuously develop 53 brands, of which many are overlapping?

There is nothing uncommon for companies to explore and study potential mergers with their competitors. Not sure how this information managed to leak out from Accor? Are they trying to signal something or find out how investors and IHG would receive this?


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