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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 10, 15, 9:43 am
  #31  
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Accor buys FRHI Holdings (Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel)

I think there's a general lack of understanding of the Accor group.
I'd say wait and see.
gilbertaue is offline  
Old Dec 10, 15, 9:43 am
  #32  
 
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I had written in Fairmont thread, to allay the worries of the FPC Elites there. So hopefully, Accor folks will appreciate what I am doing for them.

As a current Accor Plat, Fairmont Plat and Swissotel Eleva, I am happy that that Fairmont has chosen Accor (instead of IHG - which was the initial rumored buyer).

I have stayed at enough Fairmonts and Swissotels, and of course never received any points, and the airline miles that are supposed to come with the stays, I was often denied for reasons that I can never understand. In fact, just chasing credits was a real pain. (Fairmont stays into Swissotel Circle, or Swissotel stays into FPC, almost never post properly. ) Accor will sweep them into 1 account. Great. With points.

So as a person who has good understanding of Fairmont FPC, Swissotel Circle and Le Club Accor at Elite level, let me propose to Accor-Fairmont folks what are the best of each program to harness:

Name of Program: - Accor President's Circle? ( )
Accor Plat Benefits:
- Lounge Access at Fairmonts & Swissotels - a must
(This is very important. Fairmont FPCs are very upset at Accor's purchase - but in-line with MR-SPG/Hyatt/HH major competitors, - Plats should get lounge access. And all Fairmont Plats have never gotten lounge access as a benefit - this will enable Fairmont Plats to embrace Accor from the very start.
Swissotel Eleva get Lounge Access as well currently.)
- Room Upgrades (Fairmont Plats & Swissotel Eleva currently requires an upgrade voucher to get upgrades)
- Welcome Drinks (I always enjoyed this gesture, and this is really nice if the hotel has a nice bar)
- Early Check-in, Late Check-out (Fairmont & Swissotel have it as well. Fairmont Plats get 5/6pm. In line with Hyatt/SPG - minimum of 4pm at least?)
- Accor awarding points for Spending (including incidentals) - Fairmont & Swissotel does not have a currency at the moment, so this will be a real improvement for Fairmont and Swissotel.
- Retain qualifications by Nights and Points and perhaps add a by Stays as well.

Swissotel Eleva & Zenit Benefits
- Complimentary Breakfast (Seriously, I have no idea why both Accor and Fairmont Plats do not get breakfast. In line with other major chain's elites, Accor and Fairmont should follow Swissotel in giving complimentary breakfast. FPC Elites will welcome Accor, should this be implemented. And current Accor Elites would be very happy too)

Fairmont Plat Benefits
- Suite Vouchers for Plats yearly. (Hyatt Diamond has 4x of this yearly. SPG has a weaker version of this. Accor can implement this, and offer Accor Plats some Suite upgrade vouchers to ensure they get some Suite stays as upgrades yearly)
- Fairmont Fit (This is one of the major draws of Fairmont - offering complimentary gym attires - including running outfits, socks, shoes for FPC Elites. Yoga mats are available too. Accor can extend this to Sofitels, Pullmans, and even Swissotels)
- Complimentary Health Club Access (Some Accor Properties wants to charge for access to saunas. Fairmont FPC allows access to their terrific Willow Stream Spa. Accor should follow the same in all their properties, at least for their Elites. As SPG Plat, I always get access to Health Clubs in the Hotel)
- Retain BMW bikes in Fairmonts
- FPC Plat Annual Passion Awards - Can be given in a different form. (it is up creativity here. But nice to have it)

Other suggestions:
- Have a lifetime status in Accor's Program
- issue points for F&B and Spa spend even on non-hotel stays (SPG & Hyatt are doing that)


(As Accor awards points for the spending at the hotels, and these points can be encashed - 2000 points for 40 EUR, I do not see the need to press for free nights in Fairmont Plat's program / Swissotel Eleva's Premier Awards. )

Welcome to add to the above.

Last edited by ZenWorld; Dec 10, 15 at 9:57 am
ZenWorld is offline  
Old Dec 10, 15, 10:20 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by geilux View Post
Me too.... So what's the problem ?
I'm disappointed that it's not Hyatt+Fairmont.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 2:42 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by Firewind View Post
I'm disappointed that it's not Hyatt+Fairmont.
That would have been nice, and would have filled some holes in the Hyatt footprint.


Congratulations to all Le Club members; I now find Accor a viable alternative.

The sale of FRHI was very much expected; both the Qatar government and Kingdom Holdings (the two FRHI owners) are under liquidity pressures. I wouldn't be surprised to see more sales of Qatar Kingdom Holdings hotels - they own several upscale properties.
iflyjetz is offline  
Old Dec 10, 15, 2:44 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by iflyjetz View Post
The sale of FRHI was very much expected; both the Qatar government and Kingdom Holdings (the two FRHI owners) are under liquidity pressures. I wouldn't be surprised to see more sales of Qatar Kingdom Holdings hotels - they own several upscale properties.
What liquidity pressures? They've bought some iconic hotels this year and show no sign of slowing down. The LNG hasn't run out, has it?
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Old Dec 10, 15, 4:58 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by ZenWorld View Post
I had written in Fairmont thread, to allay the worries of the FPC Elites there. So hopefully, Accor folks will appreciate what I am doing for them.

As a current Accor Plat, Fairmont Plat and Swissotel Eleva, I am happy that that Fairmont has chosen Accor (instead of IHG - which was the initial rumored buyer).

I have stayed at enough Fairmonts and Swissotels, and of course never received any points, and the airline miles that are supposed to come with the stays, I was often denied for reasons that I can never understand. In fact, just chasing credits was a real pain. (Fairmont stays into Swissotel Circle, or Swissotel stays into FPC, almost never post properly. ) Accor will sweep them into 1 account. Great. With points.

So as a person who has good understanding of Fairmont FPC, Swissotel Circle and Le Club Accor at Elite level, let me propose to Accor-Fairmont folks what are the best of each program to harness:

Name of Program: - Accor President's Circle? ( )
Accor Plat Benefits:
- Lounge Access at Fairmonts & Swissotels - a must
(This is very important. Fairmont FPCs are very upset at Accor's purchase - but in-line with MR-SPG/Hyatt/HH major competitors, - Plats should get lounge access. And all Fairmont Plats have never gotten lounge access as a benefit - this will enable Fairmont Plats to embrace Accor from the very start.
Swissotel Eleva get Lounge Access as well currently.)
- Room Upgrades (Fairmont Plats & Swissotel Eleva currently requires an upgrade voucher to get upgrades)
- Welcome Drinks (I always enjoyed this gesture, and this is really nice if the hotel has a nice bar)
- Early Check-in, Late Check-out (Fairmont & Swissotel have it as well. Fairmont Plats get 5/6pm. In line with Hyatt/SPG - minimum of 4pm at least?)
- Accor awarding points for Spending (including incidentals) - Fairmont & Swissotel does not have a currency at the moment, so this will be a real improvement for Fairmont and Swissotel.
- Retain qualifications by Nights and Points and perhaps add a by Stays as well.

Swissotel Eleva & Zenit Benefits
- Complimentary Breakfast (Seriously, I have no idea why both Accor and Fairmont Plats do not get breakfast. In line with other major chain's elites, Accor and Fairmont should follow Swissotel in giving complimentary breakfast. FPC Elites will welcome Accor, should this be implemented. And current Accor Elites would be very happy too)

Fairmont Plat Benefits
- Suite Vouchers for Plats yearly. (Hyatt Diamond has 4x of this yearly. SPG has a weaker version of this. Accor can implement this, and offer Accor Plats some Suite upgrade vouchers to ensure they get some Suite stays as upgrades yearly)
- Fairmont Fit (This is one of the major draws of Fairmont - offering complimentary gym attires - including running outfits, socks, shoes for FPC Elites. Yoga mats are available too. Accor can extend this to Sofitels, Pullmans, and even Swissotels)
- Complimentary Health Club Access (Some Accor Properties wants to charge for access to saunas. Fairmont FPC allows access to their terrific Willow Stream Spa. Accor should follow the same in all their properties, at least for their Elites. As SPG Plat, I always get access to Health Clubs in the Hotel)
- Retain BMW bikes in Fairmonts
- FPC Plat Annual Passion Awards - Can be given in a different form. (it is up creativity here. But nice to have it)

Other suggestions:
- Have a lifetime status in Accor's Program
- issue points for F&B and Spa spend even on non-hotel stays (SPG & Hyatt are doing that)


(As Accor awards points for the spending at the hotels, and these points can be encashed - 2000 points for 40 EUR, I do not see the need to press for free nights in Fairmont Plat's program / Swissotel Eleva's Premier Awards. )

Welcome to add to the above.
You are providing a great service to us "FRHI enthusiasts" over in the FM forum. I appreciate what you are saying and think your heart is in the right place. A joint program with benefits from both sides is highly desired.

I think what Fairmont fans fear is a program that is just bleh. Accor's current program sounds great on paper, but appears to be over promised and under executed.

I am taking a wait and see approach with regard to loyalty/club.
The one thing I am pleased with, increased footprint.
The one thing I am super concerned with, destruction of the "Fairmont Way." Going above and beyond and losing the culture that made FM great.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 6:20 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by gilbertaue View Post
I think there's a general lack of understanding of the Accor group.
I'd say wait and see.
As both an Accor Plat and Fairmont Plat, I understand both programs quite well. One is head and shoulders above the other, hint: it is not Accor.

I can't see anything good for FPC members from this merger. Completely understand how it makes sense to Accor though.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 6:33 pm
  #38  
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Its not that bad

From my recent experiences. Quite a few hotels in accor from Sofitel- Novotel do treat members well. European hotels seems to be the last weak link as change comes slowly there. But its slowly getting better.

Asian hotels are great 90-95% of the time.
Australia and NZ come at around 80%.

Here is an example.



Dear Mr......



Bonsoir! Warm greetings from Club Sofitel!



First of all, we want to thank you for choosing us once again for your next visit here in Macau. We are very much delighted to welcome you back with your grandmother.



I have noted that you have made a reservation on our Junior Suite on the 3rd of February, two (2) nights stay and check out on the 5th of February, 2016 under your name Mr.......



As a Le Club Accor Platinum member, we have upgraded your room from Junior Suite on our Prestige Suite without any additional charges. The same room as your last visit was well noted and will arrange accordingly on your stay.



We will also prepare a special gift to your grandmother and it will be set up on the room before your arrival.



We are looking forward to the pleasure of welcoming you back to Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16!



Should you need further inquiries, please donĺt hesitate to let us know.





Best regards,




Nikkole SALVADOR

Senior Butler

Sofitel Macau At Ponte 16
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Old Dec 10, 15, 6:37 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Admiral Ackbar View Post
Originally Posted by gilbertaue View Post
I think there's a general lack of understanding of the Accor group.
I'd say wait and see.
As both an Accor Plat and Fairmont Plat, I understand both programs quite well. One is head and shoulders above the other, hint: it is not Accor.

I can't see anything good for FPC members from this merger. Completely understand how it makes sense to Accor though.
Look at the overall profile. The group grows on very high and high end properties with the merger. What you get on the opposite spectrum is the chance to find hotels in secondary cities where you would have, as a FPC member stayed in some other chain.
Just look at the demographics of the two forum groups. FPC is very strong in NAmericans/Canadians. Here at the Accor group many are also from australia/asia. That is because as a Accor member, I have the option to find a property in Surabaya, Makassar, Adelaide, Malacca, Wuxi, Bremen, Mont Saint Michel, etc etc. So that is what a overseas traveller from the FPC group will gain.
If a FPC traveller sticks to NAmerica, he/she will still have the same properties they have been used to.

Yes, the programme will change at some stage. But that's just tough luck.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 9:06 pm
  #40  
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So that is what a overseas traveller from the FPC group will gain
Not trying to be pedantic, but I did not need them to merge to have access to all the Accor hotels that you listed. Just being egotistical, I do not see what I gain from this merger, only what I will lose.

Tough luck for me I guess, life will go on.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 9:27 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by Admiral Ackbar View Post
Not trying to be pedantic, but I did not need them to merge to have access to all the Accor hotels that you listed. Just being egotistical, I do not see what I gain from this merger, only what I will lose.

Tough luck for me I guess, life will go on.
I guess I understand it in some ways. I rarely stay in FRHI properties although on those occasions, I've enjoyed my stays. Accor is improving, although being in the program over the past few years and understanding the characteristics of it, it appears to be that anyone who regularly stays at FRHI properties would have more to lose than to gain. Accor does mid/up-scale hotels quite well in the Asia Pacific region but it goes downhill from there. And I'm guessing that for those who are FRHI regulars, they would not need to make use of the expanded choices in other regions - if they did, they probably would've chosen another program to start with, or already have another program as a second choice.

As an Accor plat, I would think of it as a win for myself, but I can easily understand why those from the other side wouldn't be happy. I'm hoping that they won't touch the FRHI properties too much, but time will tell.
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Old Dec 10, 15, 9:32 pm
  #42  
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FRHI was going to merged as it was the smaller chain group. of course those who have more than 1 membership will not gain on this , but this is business. And both will gain for people who only hold 1 membership.

I could see why Accor paid a higher price , because they severely lacked American hotels
and all the majors had already gobbled up the market. This is different in emerging markets.
Nothing will every stay the same. This was probably the best merger based on business
which will include customer satisfaction. If Accor is not careful they will lose hotels in America so of course they will try to do the right thing.

Some people do dream. On Ausbt 1 guy was happy about getting a status match to Hyatt to the top tire. And then was annoyed Ausbt advertised when his original hotel chain offered a similar offer as he didnt want members to get status matched to his hotel program. Very interesting people around.
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Old Dec 11, 15, 1:42 am
  #43  
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I'll have to see if Accor will match my newly achieved HHonors Diamond status
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Old Dec 11, 15, 2:12 am
  #44  
 
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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 .
I think it was the Westin.
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Old Dec 11, 15, 2:17 am
  #45  
 
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I think Swissotel as a brand can go and the properties absorbed by Pullman. Fairmont and Raffles can remain.

And free breakfast for Gold and Plats as program enhancement.
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