Kirkland, Allen & Overy and Linklaters among firms checking in for €4.4bn hotels deal

Kirkland & Ellis, Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters are among a line-up of law firms to have advised on the €4.4bn acquisition of a 55% stake in the real estate assets of AccorHotels by a consortium of investors.

French multinational hotel group AccorHotels, the parent company of brands including Sofitel, Grand Mercure and Ibis, is selling the stake in AccorInvest, which was spun off into a separate company last year.

The stake is being acquired by a consortium led by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, alongside Credit Agricole’s life insurance arm Predica, French asset manager Amundi, US real investor Colony NorthStar and Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Kirkland is acting for GIC, fielding a London-based team consisting of corporate partners Stuart Boyd, Matthew Elliott and Celyn Evans, debt finance partner Jonathan Birks and intellectual property and technology partner Emma Flett.

Speaking to Legal Week, Boyd said: “It is an interesting deal – it’s a complicated carve-out of a business across 30 jurisdictions with an asset pool worth circa €7bn, 1,000 hotels managed and franchised with the Accor brand, and a collection of sophisticated investors.”

Linklaters is leading for PIF with a team led by global real estate head Andy Bruce, London real estate partner Simon Price and Paris corporate partner Marc Petitier, while A&O is representing Colony Northstar with a Paris team led by M&A partner Frederic Jungels and investment funds partner Brice Henry.

French independent firms Gide Loyrette Nouel, and Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier are advising Accor, with corporate partner Frederic Nouel in the lead role for Gide and corporate partner Jean-Baptiste Martigny heading up the Darrois team.

Fellow French independent De Pardieu Brocas Maffei is advising Amundi.

Boyd noted the similarity to another deal Kirkland had advised on recently – hospitality company Wyndham Worldwide’s agreement to sell its European holiday rental business to Platinum Equity for approximately $1.3bn.

“It comes hot off another deal we announced a week ago – the Wyndham Worldwide business – which was similar in the sense that it was a carve-out in the leisure sector with sophisticated private capital looking to invest,” he said.

Elliott, Evans and Birks also advised on that deal, which was signed on 15 February.

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