Accor and IHG aren’t small brands by any means, but after years of consolidation in the hotel industry, including Starwood And Marriott, they’re nowhere near the biggest, on their own. But together, IHG and Accor could represent one of the biggest and most compelling brands in hospitality, and reports from Reuters suggest talks are underway.
IHG x Accor Hotel Merger Plans?
Intercontinental Hotel Group, better known as IHG offers a stunning 5,723 hotels globally, with over 850,000 rooms for sale. Accor, for their part, offers over 4,800 hotels with more than 700,000 rooms around the world.
Put the two together, and a new world’s largest hotel platform would exist, beating out Marriott, which offers circa 1,300,000 rooms, and Hilton with just under a million.
Reuters reports that the board of Accor Hotels, which operates the Accor Live Limitless loyalty program, is strongly in favor of a potential bid to merge with cash strapped IHG. Accor, of course, said in a statement to press that they “do not comment on market rumors”.
A task force to assess the potential merger is said to have been assembled by Accor CEO Sebastien Bazin.
Nonetheless, the rumor alone sent stocks rising, with Accor shares jumping over 1.9 percent on the news. The merger would partner France based Accor with UK based IHG, forming the world’s largest hotel group.
The move could make a good deal of sense. IHG has found far greater success in US markets than Accor, but Accor excels in Europe at a higher level and much of Asia and Pacific. IHG has lucrative credit card deals in North America and the UK, whereas Accor plans to launch new cards in Europe. Basically, they could be quite complimentary, and brands could align well.
Flagship brands for Accor include Raffles, Sofitel, Fairmont and a variety of one off hotels, and IHG recently acquired Six Senses, to pair with Intercontinental, Kimpton and other luxury offerings. Between the two, there would be an awful lot of attractive properties for all budgets, from affordable Ibis and Holiday Inn properties, to the very top end of luxury.
For now, this is nothing more than a market rumor, but the prospect is exciting for the future of the hotel industry, and its loyalty programs.