Accor SA agreed to sell a majority stake in its property business to a group of investors including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund for 4.4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in cash as the French company seeks to expand in other markets.
Singapore’s GIC Pte sovereign-wealth fund, Credit Agricole Assurances, Amundi SA, Colony NorthStar Inc and other investors joined forces with the Middle Eastern fund to purchase a 55 percent stake in AccorInvest, according to a statement Tuesday from the French company.
Saudi Arabia’s PIF wants to become the world’s largest sovereign fund as the kingdom tries to diversify away from oil under an economic transformation plan known as Vision 2030. The sale of a roughly 5 per cent stake in oil giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is expected to provide more funds for investments.
In October, the fund hired the head of Qatar Investment Authority’s real estate arm as its chief development officer, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.
Accor, Europe’s biggest hotel operator, is divesting assets in mature markets as it seeks to expand in emerging economies. In October, the Paris-based company offered to buy Australia’s Mantra Group Ltd in a deal that valued the hotel and resort operator at A$1.2 billion ($936 million.)
AccorHotels will operate the AccorInvest hotels under contracts of as long as 50 years, with a renewal option, according to the statement. The deal is expected to be finalized in the second quarter and will be submitted to a meeting of AccorHotels shareholders for consultation.