PARIS-Locally headquartered Accor has agreed to sell 91 hotels in Germany and the Netherlands in exchange for 863 million euros (US$1.14 billion) and 12-year variable rent leases on each of the properties. Accor operates in 100countries. The new owner and lessor is Moor Park Real Estate.

Accor’s lease rate for each of the properties is based on an average 18% of annual revenues with no guaranteed minimum. The leases are renewable six times, for a total of 84 years. Based on 2006 revenues, variable rent would have amounted to 49.5 million euros. Moor Park will be responsible for insurance costs, property taxes and structural maintenance, which totaled 1.8 million euros in 2006.

Accor operates in 100 countries. In the transaction, Moor Park is gaining 72 hotels in Germany and 19 in the Netherlands. The hotels carry the Novotel, Mercure, Ibis and Etap brands and total approximately 12,000 rooms.

Accor, which is selling its real estate but retaining management in order to reduce earnings volatility, says it will use the proceeds to cut its net debt by 612 million euros (US$807.2 million). Previously, Accor has sold and leased back hotels in France, Belgium and the UK.

As part of the agreement, a long-term development partnership will be launched. Accor says the partnership will allow it to step up its expansion program in Germany and the Netherlands.

BNP Paribas and CMS Hasche Sigle and Stibbe advised Accor on the financial and legal aspects of the transaction, respectively.

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