Accor has sold its GO Voyages tour operator to Financiere Agache for Eu281m and announced on the same day its plans to create a new brand in apartment hotels.
The GO Voyages sale is part of the group’s divestment strategy which it plans to use to fund core hotel development.
The man buying GO Voyages is Jean-Marc Espalioux, the former Accor CEO who originally bought the chain when he was in the chair at Accor. Espalioux left Accor in January 2006 and went on to head up Agache, the investment vehicle for Bernard Arnault, the billionaire behind luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton.
GO Voyages contributed Eu13m of EBITDA to Accor in 2006 and generated Eu118m of sales.
The new apartment hotel brand is being forged in a joint venture with holiday home specialist Pierre & Vacances. The venture will initially comprise 22 mid market and upscale apartment hotels of which six are still in development by Pierre & Vacances and two by Accor.
The target is to become the European market leader in the segment. Within five years, it is hoped to have 50 hotels comprising 6,500 apartments and generating Eu180m in sales.