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GIC, international investors take majority stake in French property group AccorInvest for 4.4b euros

SINGAPORE's sovereign wealth fund GIC, together with a group of international investors, have signed an agreement to acquire a 55 per cent stake in AccorHotels' property business arm, AccorInvest.

The majority stake will be sold by the French property group to investors including Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, as well as institutional investors Credit Agricole Assurances, Colony NorthStar, and Amundi among others.

For AccorHotels, the sale would result in a cash contribution of 4.4 billion euros (S$7.13 billion).

AccorInvest has close to 30,000 employees and operations in 27 countries. It also has a portfolio of 891 hotels, primarily located in Europe, including luxury brands Raffles and Novotel, as well as the budget Ibis brand.

In a press statement on Wednesday, GIC said the investment will enable it to "gain exposure to AccorInvest's large and well-diversified portfolio, with resilient cash flows and attractive opportunities for value creation".

Separately, AccorHotels' chairman and CEO, Sebastien Bazin said: "Following the separation of AccorInvest into a stand-alone legal entity last summer, we are now gathering a round-table of leading investors... The entry of new shareholders and the deconsolidation of AccorInvest will provide AccorHotels with substantial leeway to enhance our dynamic growth, and innovation strategy and create value for shareholders."

The acquisition is subject to certain regulatory approvals, and is expected to be finalised in the second quarter this year, GIC said.