FRANCE – AccorHotels, the French multinational hotel group has acquired Mövenpick Hotels for US$567 million from Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Company as it expands reach in three continents including Africa, reported Reuters.

While AccorHotels operates in 95 countries through ownerships and over 4200 hotels in franchises, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, the Switzerland based hotel management company in 27 countries with 84 hotels with a strong presence in Europe and the Middle East.

The acquisition adds to a number of properties it owns in the country including Fairmont the Norfolk, Fairmont Mara Safari Club and Fairmount Mount Kenya Safari Club, Ibis and Pullman.

The expansion by the Paris based hotel group is part of strategy to explore emerging markets that is, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

“With the acquisition of Mövenpick, we are consolidating our leadership in the European market and are further accelerating our growth in emerging markets, in particular in Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific,” Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of AccorHotels said in a statement.

“By joining the group, Mövenpick will benefit from AccorHotels’ power, particularly in terms of distribution, loyalty-building and development.”

Movenpick made a debut in Kenya last month in what Marc Descrozaille, president for Middle East & Africa said ‘their entrance to Kenya paves the way for the company’s ambitious Sub Saharan expansion plans’.

The president then said that their debut in Kenya was a springboard to grow their footprint across East Africa as they pursue development opportunities in the region.

As part of expansion with focus on Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, Movenpick said it plans to open 42 additional hotels by 2021.

The deal, subject to regulatory approvals and expected to end in the second half of the year consolidates its footprint in Europe and the Middle East and accelerates growth in Africa and Asia, according to the company.

In addition to US based Raddison blue, and Europe’s Kempinski hotels, the hotel is among international upscale hotel management companies that are seeking a slice of the Kenyan hotel and foodservice market.