French national newspaper Le Figaro reports that Accor has been examining a possible merger with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) – a move which would create the world’s largest hotel group.

According to the report Accor’s CEO and chairman Sébastien Bazin put together a team to investigate the matter back in June, in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Le Figaro said that Accor’s financial director Jean-Jacques Morin was involved in the taskforce, along with investment banks Centerview and Rothschild.

The publication said that a merger of the two groups would compliment each other geographically, with the majority of IHG’s properties being located in China and the US, and Accor being the leader outside of China and the United States.

The report also states that Accor’s board of directors are in favour of the merger, but that Bazin had been more cautious of any move. Neither hotel group has commented on the speculation.

It is likely that any merger would face hurdles from competition commissions, and if successful would leave the combined group with over 50 separate brands, many of which would overlap.

Marriott is currently the world’s largest hotel group, following its merger with Starwood in 2016.

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