French hotel giant AccorHotels buys Switzerland's Mövenpick
French hotel group AccorHotels announced on Monday it has signed a deal to buy Switzerland's Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts for 560 million Swiss francs (€467 million, $567 million).
Founded in 1973, Mövenpick has 84 hotels in 27 countries, and plans to open 42 additional hotels by 2021, with significant expansion in Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, AccorHotels said in a statement.
The deal is expected to be finalised in the second half of 2018.
Mövenpick Holding together with its partner Kingdom Holding has agreed to sell @MovenpickHotels to @Accorhotels. With this integration Mövenpick will have access to a world-renowned customer loyalty program and benefit from new sale channels. Read more: https://t.co/UaCIYilj0G pic.twitter.com/msLqIxOr03— Mövenpick Hotels (@MovenpickHotels) April 30, 2018
The French group, 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 Mövenpick, 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 Mövenpick brand is the perfect combination of modernity and authenticity and ideally complements our portfolio."
AccorHotels reported turnover was up 0.6 percent in the first quarter, due to improved performance in Europe, especially in France.
In February it announced the sale of a 55 percent 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.
The man behind the Mövenpick legend
Mövenpick was founded by Swiss fast-food pioneer Ueli Prager who opened his first restaurant in Zurich in 1948: the Mövenpick.
The Mövenpick kicked off what would become one of his biggest revolutions in Switzerland: offering healthy food at relatively low prices and with fast service. He used to explain that he got the idea when he saw a man quickly feeding the seagulls in the Lake of Zurich with pieces of bread.
By 1965, Prager had opened his first restaurant abroad, in Germany.
Soon after, the doors of the first hotel of the group opened: the Jolie Ville Motor Inn in Zurich. The first international hotel venture was launched in 1975 with an opening in Egypt, near the Giza pyramids. It was the first of many hotels to be located outside the Swiss borders.
But for the Swiss fast food pioneer that was not enough.
The first Mövenpick brand was for coffee, and was launched onto the market in 1963. Six years later it was the turn of his world-famous ice-cream brand.