Accor makes $1.2b bid for hotel operator Mantra Group

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SYDNEY, Oct 9 (Reuters) - France's Accor SA has bid A$1.18 billion ($920 million) for Mantra Group Ltd - a deal that would combine the two biggest hotel owners in Australia and seek to capitalise on surging tourism in the country.

Mantra shares leapt almost 16% yesterday to end at $3.76. The release went on to detail the prices associated with the offer, noting that Mantra had granted Accor access to its books and finances as part of the potential sale process.

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Mantra oversees more than 80 hotels, resorts and apartments totaling more than 20,000 rooms under the Mantra, Peppers and BreakFree brands. According to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, Maragaret Huang, a Mantra purchase would advance Accor's efforts to add properties in the mid- and upscale markets, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. This spike in popularity has been driven by growing Chinese travel demands.

Mantra now owns and operates more than 125 properties.

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"The discussions are incomplete and any entry by the parties into binding transaction documents remains subject to a number of conditions, including (without limitation) the approval of both the Mantra and Accor Boards and agreement on documentation, Mantra said yesterday". However, the growth of Airbnb in Australia has tempered expectations for hotel operators more recently.

In addition to the AccorHotels and Mantra boards, the deal would require approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board as well as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

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More information on Mantra Group hotels can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS, the specialized service provider in the exchange of cutting-edge information of hotel construction in the global hospitality industry.

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