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Accor buys FRHI Holdings (Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel)

Accor buys FRHI Holdings (Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel)

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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 Swissôtel. 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 Accor’s board while KHC will take another.

FRHI?
FRHI is the holding company for the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel 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, Québec 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 Swissôtel 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)

Swissôtel
Swissôtel was founded in 1980 as a joint venture between Swissair and Nestlé 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, Düsseldorf-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).

Swissôtel operates its own loyalty programme called Swissôtel Circle. This and Swissôtel 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, 10:34 am
  #1  
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Accor buys FRHI Holdings (Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel)

Looks like Accor officially buys Fairmont

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/ac...165359202.html

I wonder when the rewards program integration begins, if ever?
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Old Dec 9, 15, 10:55 am
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I just received this email for being Swissotel Club member:

Last edited by starflyergold; Dec 9, 15 at 11:37 am Reason: removed personal info and URL
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Old Dec 9, 15, 11:09 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by yannerd View Post
I wonder when the rewards program integration begins, if ever?
Never I hope. Awful news...
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Old Dec 9, 15, 11:14 am
  #4  
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Excellent news, exciting times ahead. ^

The Accorhotels PR is here: http://www.accorhotels-group.com/fil...otels_frhi.pdf
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Old Dec 9, 15, 11:19 am
  #5  
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What a shame. I like Raffles and some of the Fairmonts.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 11:44 am
  #6  
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Here's my email for French readers...


Nous avons l’immense plaisir de partager avec vous l’annonce du rapprochement prochain de AccorHotels et du groupe Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. Ce Groupe unique, aujourd’hui présent dans 34 pays, rassemble trois marques emblématiques de l’hôtellerie de luxe : Raffles, Fairmont et Swissôtel.

En tant que membre Le Club AccorHotels, ce rapprochement vous permettra d’avoir accès à encore plus d’adresses exceptionnelles au travers d’AccorHotels parmi lesquelles des établissements légendaires comme le Raffles à Singapour, le Plaza Hotel à New York, le Savoy à Londres ou le Royal Monceau à Paris. Fairmont, Raffles et Swissôtel, ce sont 43.000 chambres dans 115 hôtels à travers le monde.

Le Club AccorHotels et les programmes de fidélité des marques Fairmont, Raffles et Swissôtel font partie des plus généreux et des plus innovants de l’hôtellerie mondiale. Nos marques et nos implantations sont très complémentaires et nous souhaitons tirer le meilleur de ces deux programmes pour vous offrir toujours plus de services exclusifs et de privilèges.

Ce rapprochement prendra encore quelques mois. Pour le moment, notre programme Le Club AccorHotels ne change pas. Votre statut, vos avantages et vos réservations restent les mêmes. Il n’y pas de modification apportée à la manière dont vous gérez votre compte ou réservez dans nos hôtels et chez nos partenaires.

Parce que votre fidélité mérite toutes nos attentions, nous vous tiendrons naturellement informés des grandes étapes de ce rapprochement au cours des prochains mois. D’ici là, nous restons à votre service dans nos hôtels, sur notre site accorhotels.com, au travers de notre application mobile ou de nos plateformes téléphoniques.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 11:55 am
  #7  
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And in English:

Dear Member,

We are delighted to share with you the announcement of the forthcoming combination of AccorHotels and Fairmont Raffles Hotels International. This unique group, which is currently present in 34 countries, comprises three emblematic luxury hotel brands: Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel.

As a member of Le Club AccorHotels, this merger will give you access to even more exceptional addresses including legendary properties such as Raffles in Singapore, The Plaza in New York, The Savoy in London and Le Royal Monceau in Paris. Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel together represent 43,000 rooms in 115 hotels around the world.

Le Club AccorHotels and the loyalty programs of the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel brands are among the most generous and innovative in the global hospitality sector. Our brands and locations are highly complementary and we want to make the most of these two programs to offer you ever more exclusive services and privileges.

This merger will take a few months to finalize. For the time being, your Le Club AccorHotels program will not change. Your status, advantages and bookings remain the same. No changes will be made in the way you manage your account or book your stays in our hotels.

Because your loyalty deserves our full attention, we will of course keep you informed of the key stages of this exciting project over the coming months. In the meantime, we remain at your service in our hotels, on our accorhotels.com website, our mobile app and via our customer care centers.

Feel Welcome

Sébastien Bazin

Chairman and CEO
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Old Dec 9, 15, 12:08 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Admiral Ackbar View Post
Awful news...
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
What a shame.
Originally Posted by starflyergold View Post
Excellent news, exciting times ahead.
All perfectly understandable reactions.

It is indeed in many ways sad that we're seeing this little wave of takeovers. There's enough sameness out there already without IHG, Marriott and Accor getting even bigger. But once we accept that the industry consolidation is happening it is hard to think of a better outcome for both FRHI and Accor customers.

Swissôtel and Fairmont regulars could conceivably have preferred Starwood, but they have to be happier with Accor than if they'd seen FRHI sold to Marriott or Hilton. And Accor regulars should be pleased to see an acquisition that raises the average standard of Accor properties and sensibly expands the reach of LCAH.

My hope is that some of the Fairmont and Swissôtel culture rubs off and Accor realises that having customer service in house and empowered is long overdue.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 12:10 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
What a shame. I like Raffles and some of the Fairmonts.
I do too, but I don't see any shame here. It's good news to add them into the Accor family. Accor's new CEO has things moving in the right direction.

For me, a few properties stand out that I've stayed at before.

Fairmont San Jose. The most central hotel in San Jose and very nice.

Swisshotel Singapore. Formerly Sheraton, this is or was the tallest building in Singapore and I think my room was on the 65th floor.

Swisshotel Ankara. A really nice boutique like hotel in a great area.

There's others I've stayed at, but we'll see what things look like once the merger is completed. I've got Accor Platinum and I recall in the past that I could get Fairmont status from my Amex, but it's been a few years since I asked for that.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 12:13 pm
  #10  
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Since when did Swissotel become a luxury brand? Some Fairmonts, such as Singapore or Chicago, aren't true luxury either. I'd say the same about Shanghai except for it's historic iconic building and location.

Also, an average size of about 400 rooms per hotel doesn't sound luxurious to me either.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 12:15 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Since when did Swissotel become a luxury brand? Also, an average size of about 400 rooms per hotel doesn't sound luxurious to me either.
It's not at the lux level of FS or MO, etc. But many of the hotels are very nice quality properties with full service. All the ones I've been to are 4 star bordering on 5 star.
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Old Dec 9, 15, 12:27 pm
  #12  
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Yes, Fairmont customer service (for plats at least) is fantastic: Accurate, speedy and proactive.

Can't see myself being upgraded to the same level of suites if it follows Accor rules either. I really hope the programs stay separate.

And judging from the overwhelmingly negative reaction in the Fairmont forum, I am not the only Fairmont plat to think that this is awful news. Can see how Accor members (of which I am one as well) could see it the other way,
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Old Dec 9, 15, 12:40 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Admiral Ackbar View Post
overwhelmingly negative reaction in the Fairmont forum
Indeed, people there don't seem to agree with the thread title: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/fairm...s-resorts.html

Much of the negativity seems to be based on a preference for the status quo, however, even though it's been clear for months that change (takeover or break up) was on the way.

For LCAH members with US addresses: keep an eye on Chase's Fairmont Visa card. It may be worth applying at some point in 2016 (and looking ahead it is hard to imagine that there won't be an Accor credit card).

Last edited by IMH; Dec 9, 15 at 12:55 pm Reason: spelling, length
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Old Dec 9, 15, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
I do too, but I don't see any shame here. It's good news to add them into the Accor family. Accor's new CEO has things moving in the right direction.
If he does he'll keep the Fairmont loyalty program and get rid of Le Accor. That is one poor program imo and the primary reason I don't stay at Accor (after trying their top tier for a year via a match).
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Old Dec 9, 15, 12:45 pm
  #15  
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Change is never easy. Let's see how things plays out. This is not a merger of equals so on one side there is bound to be significant change but if they play this right there might be win-wins for all.And as I said over in the Fairmont forum: 27m Le Club members, 3m Fairmont loyalty members, you do the maths
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