A new bleeding is announced in the French hotel industry: AccorInvest, owner of 887 Accor hotels and short of cash, wants to cut 777 jobs in France. With a social plan of the same magnitude in the United Kingdom and departures planned in four other European countries, it is 1,800 jobs that the Accor subsidiary is preparing to eliminate on the continent, we learned from a union source. , confirming information from the journal The echoes. The announcement was made on Wednesday January 13, during a European group committee meeting by the new CEO, Gilles Clavie.
“The survival of the group is at stake”, he justified in substance, presenting catastrophic financial data. The group’s turnover fell by 70% compared to 2019 and stood at 1.2 billion euros, with an EBITDA, equivalent to gross operating income, negative by half a billion. The group has consumed 500 million euros in cash since the first confinement. Without the sale of hotels in Africa and Australia at the end of 2020, it would have ended this month of January with empty checkouts.
The occupancy rates of AccorInvest hotels – for those that remain open – fell from 74% to 22% in 2020, with prices falling significantly. AccorInvest, particularly dependent on business customers, does not expect a return to pre-Covid activity before 2024.
Outsourcing and versatility
In detail, 68 positions will be cut in its two French offices and 709 in the 315 French hotels. This figure is conditional on the implementation of an agreement on long-term partial activity (APLD), which has yet to be negotiated.
“They say it could have been worse without state aid, comments Christian Alia, CGT delegate. The crisis allows them to restructure: they will outsource tasks more and ask for more versatility. “
AccorInvest is a 30% subsidiary of Accor, which sold it its premises and business assets in 2017. The European leader in the hotel industry itself announced a social plan for 1,200 people worldwide, including one third in France.
The capital increase is slipping
The real estate company is today considered to be the ball of Accor, which was forced to keep one foot in it to convince funds to invest in this hotel juggernaut. The group led by Sébastien Bazin will have to put their hands in their pockets to contribute to an inevitable recapitalization, which is slow to materialize.
Accor’s contribution will match its share in AccorInvest and the other shareholders – in particular the American fund Colony Capital and the sovereign funds of Saudi Arabia and Singapore – have committed to participate as well.
“We have to go relatively quickly, Sébastien Bazin said to World in November 2020. The very good news is that AccorInvest has 4.5 billion euros in debt, but significantly more assets than debt, around 7 billion. It is therefore not a problem of solvency, but of liquidity. “
The capital increase was to be unveiled in early December 2020, but negotiations are dragging on with the Ministry of the Economy, which must accompany it in the form of a loan guaranteed by the State. The amount requested is 477 million euros, according to information from Echoes, with a recapitalization of the same amount. The third lever of the AccorInvest bailout will consist of debt rescheduling.