AccorHotels takes a seat at acquisition table for Potel & Chabot

AccorHotels and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners are in exclusive negotiations to acquire upmarket hospitality and events caterer Potel & Chabot.

Potel & Chabot annually generates revenues of over €100m from organising 10,000 corporate and private client events and receptions. These include the French Open tennis and Le Mans 24 Hours.

The company marks is 200th anniversary in 2020 and manages Parisian venues including Pavillon Vendome and Pavillon Seine.

The group also has business in Switzerland, the Middle East, China, Brazil and the UK, where it opened an office last year

The value of the offer to Potel & Chabot shareholders has not been revealed and any deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Under the mooted deal, Edmond de Rothschild will take a 51% stake, Accor 40% and Potel & Chabot management taking the rest.

Accor sold Lenotre, another upmarket caterer, for €75m in 2011 to Sodexo.

The new deal signals another acquisition in a string of activity since Sebastien Bazin took over as chief executive of Accor in 2013.

The acquisition of Potel & Chabot would also follow Accor’s $2.7bn takeover of FRHI Holdings, which owns the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissotel brands.

Should a new deal go through, Potel & Chabot Group would be able to leverage the business expertise of AccorHotels in order to jointly develop F&B offers for MICE guests.

“The combination of their knowledge with our leading positions in luxury hospitality, private rental and concierge services will provide our clients with unique services and expertise regarding tailor-made events,” AccorHotels deputy chief executive Sven Boinet said in a statement on the Potel & Chabot approach.

Franck Jeantet, chairman and CEO of Potel & Chabot, said: “We are delighted that two major, highly experienced leading investors are taking a stake in our group’s share capital. It will enable us to support our growth in the luxury hospitality industry both in France and internationally. This new alliance with AccorHotels, a world leader in hospitality, its hotel infrastructures throughout the world and its digital concierge services will allow us to strengthen our leadership in the luxury sector and enhance the expertise of our talents, notably by sharing it through the creation of a ‘Potel & Chabot Academy’.”

Pierre-Yves Poirier and Sylvain Charignon, partners at Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, commented: “We were convinced by the relevance of Potel & Chabot group’s management project to continue the development of its two brands, Potel & Chabot and Saint-Clair. Undeniably, as the standard in the ultra-luxury segment, the group possesses all the attributes needed to secure new events and continue its expansion both in France and at international level. With this renewed shareholding, Potel & Chabot will benefit from the help of two key players in support of its strategy.”

In other news, AccorHotels has launched a new ‘Star Wins’ agent incentive, targeting UK agents and planners.

The themed campaign kicked off on the 22 March when the UK Global & National sales team and sales colleagues from various UK hotels started to visit 150 of their key M&E partners around the country.

The team are dressed as Star Wars characters and agents will be given the opportunity to sign up to the campaign and win prizes including weekend breaks and virtual reality glasses.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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