Accor CEO: Onefinestay buy shows evolving industry

AccorHotels now is in a position to “kill” any opposition coming into the luxury serviced-homes market following its acquisition of Onefinestay, according to AccorHotels Chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin.

AccorHotels on Tuesday purchased 100% of Onefinestay for €148 million ($168.26 million) and with this acquisition, the space occupied by Onefinestay now belongs to the French company.

“We will dominate this space,” Bazin said at a small reception held Tuesday evening at a Onefinestay property in London, adding that AccorHotels would aggressively secure the luxury serviced-homes market as its own, and only its own.

“Anyone who thinks that Onefinestay is just another Airbnb clearly does not understand this business,” Bazin said.

In his speech to reception attendees, Bazin said that firms such as Onefinestay have the four attributes needed to succeed in the new hospitality arena:

They started with a blank sheet of paper.
They were started by people under 35 years of age.
They fully understand the digital requirements of the new distribution age.
They have a flat organization structure, not a hierarchal one.
Companies that do not learn to adopt elements of a flat structure will not survive, Bazin said, who added the two entities would trust and respect each other.

With that, AccorHotels said it would commit a further €64 million ($72.76 million) between now and 2018 to help the London-based firm scale internationally.

Bazin told Hotel News Now that he made the promise to expand the number of cities Onefinestay operates in by 40. Onefinestay operates in five cities now: London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris and Rome.

Increasing the scope and footprint of Onefinestay will help Paris-based AccorHotels grow its market share and dominate the space, Bazin said.

Bazin told HNN that the roster of 2,600 Onefinestay properties will be added to AccorHotels’ growing booking platform. Just last year the company started to allow handpicked independent hotels on the platform.

The company regards Onefinestay’s business to be worth about €32 billion ($36.38 billion) in the upscale urban leisure market and double that for the upscale business market, once it expands, according to company materials.

Greg Marsh, co-founder and CEO of Onefinestay, told HNN that he started talks with AccorHotels last September and has since been “excited about our new beginning.”

“We talked to a lot of companies about Onefinestay’s next chapter, but pretty quickly we saw that (AccorHotels) just gets it,” Marsh said. “It understands where hospitality is going.”

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