AccorHotels is ramping up its presence in the home-sharing sector by bolting new acquisitions on to its Onefinestay brand to counter the threat posed by Airbnb and other online booking services.
Accor, Europe’s largest hotelier by room numbers, acquired UK-based luxury homes rental site Onefinestay in a deal worth up to €148 million last year.
The French hospitality giant has fully acquired Squarebreak, a French home rentals start-up in which it already has a 49% stake. The deal price was undisclosed.
Accor also also bought Travel Keys, a US group that acts as a broker to hire luxury villas, in February.
The three home-sharing groups are to be merged under the Onefinestay brand, increasing the number of rentals offered to 10,000 from about 2,500.
Evan Frank, Onefinestay’s co-founder, has been replaced as chief executive by Javier Cedillo Espin, a long-time Accor executive.
“This is really about taking Onefinestay global,” Cedillo Espin told the Financial Times.
“We’re going to be focused in the next month to drive this integration and grow very fast. We have the foundations to make this growth and expansion and happen with these three companies and the expertise coming together.”
He added: “With this new step in consolidating our leadership position, Onefinestay now has a sound platform combining brand excellence, a vast and complementary offer and distribution efficiency.
“We are hugely excited about the global development potential for our network. Our guests are always asking for more places where they can enjoy our professional hospitality and concierge experience and the integration of these three innovative brands is the answer.”
The newly combined group is unprofitable but Accor said it is aiming for Onefinestay to break even by 2019.
In November, Expedia acquired HomeAway, an Airbnb competitor, in a deal with worth about $4 billion.
AccorHotels chief executive Sébastien Bazin has said the hotel industry must respond, adding that 30% of its business will come from revenue streams other than hotel rooms within five years.
Meanwhile the group is to rebrand a property in Dubai consisting of 428 rooms and 192 apartments under its upper-scale Swissôtel and Swissôtel Living brands.
The hotel and apartments will be managed by AccorHotels before transitioning to Swissôtel & Swissôtel Living by end of the year when the first phase of refurbishment is completed.
Located within Deira, the property provides access to the Al Ghurair Centre shopping complex.