$1.3bn takeover to create Australasia’s largest hotel group gets go ahead

French giant AccorHotels’ proposed A$1.2bn (NZ$1.3bn) takeover of Australia’s Mantra Group looks set to go ahead creating a 50,000-room behemoth in the Asia Pacific region.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided not to oppose the deal saying it was unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any relevant market.

The takeover will create the largest hotel group in Australasia with Mantra and its Peppers, Art-series and BreakFree brands joining Accor’s Ibis, Novotel and Mercure hotels.

Mantra operates 125 properties across the Asia Pacific region with hotels in Queenstown and Tekapo as well as two BreakFree and five Peppers sites in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Commerce Commission did not scrutinise the deal and the ACCC said it was satisfied consumers would not be disadvanatged by the takeover.

“The combined Accor-Mantra will still compete with other international and national hotel chains, as well as many independent hotels and accommodation providers,” said ACCC chairman Rod Sims.

“The combined Accor-Mantra will have a large number of properties in some areas, particularly in certain holiday destinations in Queensland. However, in each case and after a detailed review the ACCC has found that there are also sufficient other options nearby for visitors which will provide competition to Accor-Mantra.”

The deal, which is now being sent to Mantra shareholders for approval, will see AccorHotels control more than 50,000 rooms in over 200 properties across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii.

In New Zealand, AccorHotels is already the biggest operator in the hotel market controlling around 35 sites and about 17% of New Zealand’s 27,000+ hotel rooms.

Mantra would add another nine sites to AccorHotels’ New Zealand portfolio and nudge it closer to controlling a fifth of the country’s hotel rooms. The next largest operator would be Millennium Hotels & Resorts with 18 properties and 8% of total rooms.

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