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Accor shares fall as hotels group confirms Air France-KLM talks

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Accor shares are lower Monday after the French hotels group has confirmed it is in discussions with Air France-KLM over a tie-up. Reports emerged over the weekend that AccorHotels could form a partnership with the airline to help it become more competitive, by buying some of the French Government’s stake in the airline.

Accor confirmed the news with a statement, Sunday.

By 1210 BST, Accor shares were 6.26% lower at $44.62, while Air France-KLM shares were 7.19% higher at €7.48.

Accor looking to improve competitive edge

AccorHotels has conducted numerous discussions with Air France-KLM over a potential tie-up, over the years. These are talks the French hotel and holiday firm said it has recently re-visited.

“Over the past years, AccorHotels has held discussions with Air France-KLM, notably with a view to developing joint digital projects as well as a joint loyalty and services platform,” AccorHotels said in a statement.

“AccorHotels confirms having resumed its reflections on the matter, being at very early stage of assessing the feasibility and potential terms and conditions which will be discussed with Air France-KLM in due time,” the French group said.

“There is no certainty that these initiatives will lead to any agreement nor any form of implementation.  AccorHotels will inform the market if and when necessary,” it added.

Equity stake

Among the possibilities being discussed between the two firms,is the purchase of some or all of the French government’s stake in Air France-KLM, by AccorHotels. However, this is something that some analysts are unsure is necessary for a closer partnership between the two.

“While the strategic rationale for Accor is there, we wonder why this cannot be achieved by a commercial partnership without any equity stake,” said Bernstein analyst Caius Slater, according to a Reuters report.

A closer relationship between the two businesses could help them work to improve their profitability and offer more competitively priced holiday options.

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