• Accor takes control at Orbis

Accor has taken a majority stake in the Orbis group, the largest hotel group in Poland and central Europe.

The move is typical of Accor's stealth strategy of taking a minority stake and building it into full control.

The control of Orbis was gained by lifting the existing stake of 45.48% to 50.01% through the purchase of Eu35m worth of shares.

Accor has been a partner with Orbis since 1973 and has been a shareholder since the company was privatised in 2000.

A similar strategy was pursued with Pannonia, the Hungarian chain that was formerly state-owned. Accor took a stake in Pannonia in 1993 before eventually taking full control in 1997.

Other examples include stake building in German chain Dorint before eventually taking over a number of that group's properties following a restructuring.

With Orbis, Accor has secured a company that has 62 hotels with 12,000 rooms. The hotels include 42 that already operate under Accor brands. During 2007, Orbis posted a net profit of Eu41m on sales of Eu307m. The results will be fully consolidated within Accor's from the start of July this year.

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