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Accor buys FRHI Holdings (Fairmont, Raffles and Swiss˘tel)

Accor buys FRHI Holdings (Fairmont, Raffles and Swiss˘tel)

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Old Dec 11, 17, 7:22 pm   -   Wikipost
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What we know:

On 9 December 2015 Accorhotels announced an agreement with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) of Saudi Arabia and Oxford Properties, an Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) company for the acquisition of FRHI Holdings Ltd (FRHI), parent of Fairmont, Raffles, and Swiss˘tel. Accorhotels will be paying $840 million in cash and by issuing 46.7 million new shares. As part of the transaction, QIA will have two seats on Accorĺs board while KHC will take another.

FRHI?
FRHI is the holding company for the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swiss˘tel brands. FRHI is a management company and the portfolio is almost exclusively on long-term management contracts; i.e. this does not include the brick and mortar in most cases but long term leases of the hotels concerned. 155 hotels are included in the deal and 40 developments which equates to 56,000 rooms in total.

Fairmont
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a Canadian-based operator of hotels and resorts. Currently, Fairmont operates properties in 19 countries.
Canada: Banff, Calgary, Charlevoix, Edmonton, Jasper, Lake Louise, Mont Tremblant, Montebello, Montreal, Ottawa, QuÚbec City, Toronto, Vancouver (4), Victoria, Whistler, Winnipeg
United States: Berkeley, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hawaii, Maui, New York, Newport Beach, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco (2), San Jose, Santa Monica, Scottsdale, Seattle, Sonoma, Telluride, Washington DC
Asia: Bali, Beijing, Jaipur, Jakarta, Kunshan, Manila, Nanjing, Shanghai, Singapore
Europe: Baku, Barcelona, Hamburg, Kiev, London, Monte Carlo, Montreux, St Andrews
Mexico, Caribbean and Bermuda: Barbados, Hamilton, Riviera Maya, Southampton
Middle East and Africa: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Cairo (3), Dubai (2), Makkah, Masai Mara, Mount Kenya, Nairobi, Zimbali (2)
In Development: Amman (2015), Austin (2017), Chengdu (2015), Fujairah (2015), Istanbul (2016), Lagos (2016), Moscow (2016), Riyadh (2015), Sharm el Sheikh (2015), Soma Bay (2020), Suzhou (2018), Taiyuan (2016), Zhengzhou (2018).

Fairmont has its own Flyertalk forum. It's current loyalty programme is called President's Club. The programme also covers Raffles and Swiss˘tel though the latter also operates its own loyalty programme.

Raffles
Raffles was established in 1887 in Singapore and currently comprises 12 luxury hotels with 4 in development.
Asia: Beijing, Hainan, Jakarta, Manila, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Singapore,
Europe: Istanbul, Paris,
Middle East and Africa: Dubai, Makkah, Praslin,
In Development: Jeddah (2018), Sharm el-Sheikh (2019), Shenzhen (2019), Warsaw (2017)

Swiss˘tel
Swiss˘tel was founded in 1980 as a joint venture between Swissair and NestlÚ and currently includes 37 properties in 17 countries.
Australia: Sydney
Asia: Beijing, Foshan, Kunshan, Shanghai, Kolkata, Osaka, Singapore (2), Bangkok (2), Phuket
Europe: Tallinn, Berlin, Bremen, Dresden, DŘsseldorf-Neuss, Amsterdam, Moscow, Sochi, Basel, Geneva (2), Zurich, Ankara, Bodrum (2), Istanbul (2), Izmir
Latin America: Quito, Lima,
United States: Chicago
Middle East: Makkah
In Development: Dhaka (2017), Sofia (2018), Changsha (2016), Chengdu (2016), Hangzhou (2019), Jinan (2020), Guayaquil (2017), Cairo (2020), Sharm el Sheikh (2016), Bali (2017), Jeddah (2017), Dubai (2018).

Swiss˘tel operates its own loyalty programme called Swiss˘tel Circle. This and Swiss˘tel hotels are currently being discussed in the Other Hotel Chains forum.

What happens next?
On 26 April 2016 Accor announced that it has received antitrust clearance for the purchase in relevant jurisdictions. The next step with be an extraordinary shareholders meeting (to be held on the 12th July 2016) to approve the capital increase and proposed board composition.

The deal closed on 12 July 2016. Nothing from a loyalty perspective will change immediately and the respective programmes and hotels will continue to operate as before.

FRHI inventory was loaded onto the Accor system on 12 July 2016, however none of the hotels will earn any points or can be used to redeem them. At the shareholder meeting Accor seemed to indicate that it will take 18 months for the loyalty aspects to be sorted. However it was clear that Le Club will be the future loyalty programme for all hotels.

Loyalty Integration
As of 2 July 2018 the Fairmont President's Club will cease to exist (the same goes for the Swissotel Circle). Both programmes will be folded into Le Club Accorhotels.

What does this mean for Le Club members? You will be able to earn and redeem points, and receive status related perks at all former FRHI hotels. This includes: early/late check in, welcome drink, upgrade (subject to availability), welcome amenity, free wifi. Lounge access for Platinum members will apply to Swissotel (where available) but does not include the Fairmont Gold Service (unless of course booked, including with points). Any stays at former FRHI hotels from January will contribute to your "night count" but no points will be accrued until 2 July.

What does this mean to FPC members? Members will be transferred into Le Club in July. Platinum members will become Le Club Platinum members, Premier will be Silver, Club will be standard members. The "nights stayed" count will transfer to Le Club in July and contribute to status in Le Club. However points will only accrue from July. Suite certificates can be used up beyond July.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 1:06 pm
  #16  
 
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This is of course a very good news for Accor
A real international presence (now in North America) and higher category of hotels.

Some questions remain still:
- Will the Fairmont brand still exist in a near future?
- Will some Sofitel properties be renamed?
- Will the loyalty programs merge or will a separate program like Ambassador for IHG coexist?

Last edited by nicolas75; Dec 9, 15 at 2:18 pm
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Old Dec 9, 15, 3:00 pm
  #17  
 
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While Fairmont, Swissotel and Raffles under the same management before the acquisition by Accor, they still keep their own loyalty programs.

There are some more interesting benefits on Swissotel Circle that hopefully could be absorbed into Le Club :

Swissotel Circle :
- the middle tier on the loyalty program called Eleva, only requiring 20 nights/year comparing to Le Club Accor Gold, which is 30 nights/year
- Eleva members receive free Daily breakfast and Club Lounge access ^^^
- Eleva members receive Complimentary internet, local calls and faxes on every stay which is good for business and saving your company expenses. ^
- Zenit members (60 nights/year) could have another Zenit card for their spouses with the same benefits. ^
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Old Dec 9, 15, 4:47 pm
  #18  
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Agree that given Fairmont group already has multiple loyalty programs and that Accor seems to have trouble doing anything in an integrated fashion (although improving recently) I'm not holding up my hopes that my Accor status will be recognised by Fairmont/Swissotel.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 7:57 pm
  #19  
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This is great news ^
For those who think the loyalty programs of the acquired brands will remain, don't dream. All existing programs will be merged (for the best, I hope )
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Old Dec 9, 15, 11:16 pm
  #20  
 
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For me, it is exciting news, although not as exciting as I'd expect. Good to hear Accor is playing the merger game, more coverage is always better, and coverage is the primary reason I stay with Accor (if you are not only travelling to the world's major metropoles, you will appreciate Accor having an ibis for you at some truly obscure locations otherwise not served by major hotel chains).

That said, the extra coverage they gain is not that massive. In Europe (where most of my travels are) perhaps only Swissotel Tallinn opens a new market for them, which is a very welcome development. Otherwise, it's mostly West-Coast USA and Canada and the South American Swissotels that really add coverage. Oh, and the Swissotel Osaka.

More worryingly, some properties are actual doubles with Accor's current upscale hotels, most striking being the Swissotel Berlin right in front the relatively-new Sofitel Berlin Kurfuerstendamm. So I wonder how Accor is going to handle those and if some dearly-acquired properties are going to be dropped.

I also expect the Swissotel brand to be dropped and hope for some of the properties to undergo thorough renovation before joining Sofitel or Pullman. Of course their rewards programme was generous given their scant coverage, it requires a lot of dedication (or repetitive travel patterns) to accrue even 20 nights at the chain.

I hope for LeClub to integrate new properties soon for the sole sake of me having delayed leisure trips to Tallinn and Osaka for lack of relevant-points-earning properties there
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Old Dec 9, 15, 11:53 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
What a shame. I like Raffles and some of the Fairmonts.
Me too.... So what's the problem ?
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Old Dec 10, 15, 1:28 am
  #22  
 
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I do hope that LeClub gets a revamp so as to make it better for their customers.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 1:30 am
  #23  
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The Great Hotel Consolidation Program begins: first Marriott and Starwood, now Accor and Fairmont/Swissotel/Raffles. These are exciting and scary times but I have a feeling that these consolidations are the first of many to come. Let's see what plays out.

Bonne chance!

khabah
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Old Dec 10, 15, 3:01 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
Swisshotel Singapore. Formerly Sheraton, this is or was the tallest building in Singapore and I think my room was on the 65th floor.
There's another Swisshotel in SIN as well, plus a good Fairmont, and a very lovely Raffles. And looking at what Accor has done with Sofitel So, I have grave fears for these properties.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 3:15 am
  #25  
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Is there any easy way to rack up free Accor points?

Last edited by TMM1982; Dec 10, 15 at 3:33 am
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Old Dec 10, 15, 3:30 am
  #26  
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Originally Posted by TMM1982 View Post
Is there any easy way to rack up Accor points?
Yes by frequently staying in one of their hotels (there also plenty of points promotions over the year)
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Old Dec 10, 15, 5:41 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Awesom Andy View Post
There's another Swisshotel in SIN as well, plus a good Fairmont, and a very lovely Raffles. And looking at what Accor has done with Sofitel So, I have grave fears for these properties.
Why the fear? Those hotels you mentioned have value. A company like Accor wants more properties in Singapore rather than less. I would not expect any change at those hotels, at least not for the next few years.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 6:43 am
  #28  
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Accor buys FRHI Holdings (Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel)

The Fairmont would probably become a sofitel, the Swisshotel a pullman and the so sofitel a MGallery. Sounds good?
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Old Dec 10, 15, 7:26 am
  #29  
 
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I'm nervous about the lovely Fairmont's in Canada that I love so much. Namely, Lake Louise, Banff and Le Manoir Richelieu. Lovely hotels, with amazing staff in beautiful places. Just doesn't seem like the sort of places Accor would have much interest in.

Guess I'll have to wait and see!
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Old Dec 10, 15, 8:50 am
  #30  
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Originally Posted by dcstudent View Post
I'm nervous about the lovely Fairmont's in Canada that I love so much. Namely, Lake Louise, Banff and Le Manoir Richelieu. Lovely hotels, with amazing staff in beautiful places. Just doesn't seem like the sort of places Accor would have much interest in.
Why would you say that? Any hotel chain would covet those hotels. Especially Accor!
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