Saudi Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal Image Credit: Bloomberg

DUBAI: Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding and its partners have agreed to sell Movenpick Hotels and Resorts to its associate firm AccorHotels.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018, Kingdom Holding said in a statement. Kingdom has a 5.7 per cent stake in Accor SA.

AccorHotels said earlier it had agreed to buy rival Movenpick Hotels & Resorts for 560 million Swiss francs ($567 million, Dh2,081 million), in a deal which Accor said would boost its earnings and marks the latest example of the French group’s ambitious takeover strategy.

Founded in 1973 in Switzerland, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts operates in 27 countries with 84 hotels, and has a strong presence in Europe and the Middle East.

Earlier this year, Kingdom sold its stake in the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut for around $100-115 million including debt, sources had told Reuters.

AccorHotels, which already includes the Pullman, Raffles, Novotel and Mercure brands, said the acquisition would further consolidate its operations in Europe and in the Middle East and boost growth, notably in Africa and Asia.

“With the acquisition of Movenpick, we are consolidating our leadership in the European market and are further accelerating our growth in emerging markets, in particular in Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific,” AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin said.

“The Movenpick brand is the perfect combination of modernity and authenticity and ideally complements our portfolio.”

AccorHotels reported turnover was up 0.6 per cent in the first quarter, due to improved performance in Europe, especially in France.

In February it announced the sale of a 55 per cent stake in the subsidiary that owns its hotels to a group of international investors including the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Singapore for 4.4 billion euros.