French hotel group Accor sells majority stake in 15 Formule 1 hotel chain to Samhi

French hotel group Accor today sold a 60-per cent stake in 15 hotels under its economy brand Formule 1 to hotel investment firm Samhi, for an undisclosed sum.

The Paris-based hotel chain will hold the remaining 40 per cent in the hotels and will continue to operate them under long-term operating agreements. "Accor will retain the rights to own and / or develop further Formule 1 projects in India", Accor said in a statement.

Currently, Accor has 15 wholly-owned and leased developments under the Formule 1 brand in India, and two have become operational at Greater Noida and Ahmedabad, while one more in Hinjewadi on the periphery of Pune will commence operation by the end of this year.

Accor said that the sale is in line with the group's 'asset-light' strategy to increase the proportion of its hotels operated under management contracts and franchise agreements.

SAMHI is a leading Indian hotel investment and development firm focusing on ownership of branded hotels across key cities in the Indian sub-continent, specifically in the 'value-for-money' mid-scale and economy segments.

With the latest acquisition, Samhi has acquired a total of 21 hotel projects, both operational or under development, across nine cities, with around 3,500 rooms.

Ashish Jakhanwala, founder and CEO of Samhi says the investment in the Formule 1 hotels it makes Samhi a formidable multi-branded hotel ownership company in India.

"Formule 1 is a strong product and brand positioned to capture the large volume price-sensitive Indian traveller and Accor as a hotel company is well known for its expertise in this segment globally and this makes our investment very attractive,'' Jakhanwala explains.