AccorHotels seeks remaining Orbis shares

France’s AccorHotels is reportedly planning to buy the remaining shares of Polish hotel operator Orbis Hotel Group for 1.9 billion zlotys ($501 million), a strong sign of the company’s interest in Central and Eastern Europe.

The company acquired a 20-percent stake in Orbis in 2000, and acquired more than 50 percent of the shares eight years later. According to Reuters, AccorHotels is now expected to make a cash tender offer of 87 zlotys per share to buy the remaining 47.31 percent stake in Orbis. 

Orbis, which is headquartered in Warsaw, is the largest hotel operator in Central and Eastern Europe and is the exclusive master franchisee of certain AccorHotels brands in the region. Its portfolio includes 128 hotels with 21,000 rooms in 16 countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia) operated under the Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Novotel, Mercure, ibis, ibis Styles and ibis budget brands.

“AccorHotels and Orbis have built a long-term partnership since their first business agreement 45 years ago,” said Sebastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of AccorHotels, in a statement. “As its largest shareholder since 2000, AccorHotels has fully supported Orbis’ growth in Poland, then across Central Europe since 2014, where Orbis has become today a formidable leader. The proposed transaction will enable AccorHotels to accelerate its development in the region. In addition, it will enable AccorHotels to further implement its active asset management policy.”  

The company launched the offer to initiate the delisting of Orbis’ shares from the Warsaw Stock Exchange. If, upon completion of the offer, AccorHotels holds at least 90 percent of Orbis’ share capital, AccorHotels reportedly intends to proceed with a squeeze-out of the minority shareholders of the company.