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AccorHotels to create 'dedicated subsidiary' for HotelInvest division

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AccorHotels to create 'dedicated subsidiary' for HotelInvest division

plans to create a"dedicated subsidiary" for its HotelInvest division, the French groupsaid in a news release.

Thehotel operator's board gave the go-ahead for the initiative at a July 12 meeting,where shareholders also gave their approval for the acquisition of FRHI Hotels and Resortsand its three luxury brands.

Themove marks the culmination of a restructuring program that began in , under which the companyset up two divisions, HotelServices and HotelInvest, with the latter dedicatedto owning and buying hotels.

AccorHotelssaid the project is intended to accelerate growth by strengthening its financialresources and will ultimately allow third-party investors to hold the majorityof HotelInvest's capital. This will in turn provide AccorHotels with"significant room for maneuver and greater financial flexibility" inorder to develop and invest in new products and services, including the traveland digital aspects, the group said.

HotelInvest'sgross asset value rose to €7 billion from €5.5 billion between 2013 and 2015,and its operating margin stood at 7.8% in 2015, compared with 4% in 2013,according to the news release. HotelInvest's first-quarter stood at €973 million. Thedivision secured nearly €1 billion worth of real estate transactions in 2015 aspart of its transformation, according to a report from December 2015.

Theinitiative will be presented to the concerned employee representativeorganizations and submitted to AccorHotels' governing bodies,including the board of directors and its shareholders. The company expects theproject to complete by mid-2017.

AccorHotelschairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin said: "By making it possible to bring innew investors for part of our business, this project will significantlyincrease the resources available to the group to consolidate the respectiveleadership positions of HotelServices and HotelInvest, while also enabling usto continue to leverage synergies between the two business lines."