Written on the 12 October 2017 by Ben Hall

AUSTRALIAN accommodation giant Mantra (ASX: MTR) has unanimously accepted a $1.2 billion takeover offer from French hotel group Accor.

On Monday, Mantra confirmed it had received an indicative and non-binding proposal from Accor to acquire all of its shares at $3.96 per share and said it would grant the suitor due diligence and consider the offer.

"Mantra's Board has concluded that the sale of the company at a significant premium to market is an attractive outcome for shareholders," says Mantra chairman Peter Bush.

"After careful consideration, the board believes that the offer price of $3.96 cash per share recognises the strategic value of our business and our success in becoming a leading accommodation provider.

"The offer represents compelling value and provides an attractive opportunity for shareholders to realise this value."

Bush also says "AccorHotels has a global capability and deep skills that will benefit Mantra's customers and provide opportunities for our team members".

"We have long admired the Mantra business, both in respect of its brands and properties as well as its people and processes," says AccorHotel's chairman and CEO, Sebastien Bazin.

"We will be looking to bring together the best of both companies to provide an enhanced experience for our customers and employees in what is an exciting period of growth of the industry in Australia and New Zealand."

Mantra says the deal is subject to an independent expert concluding the deal was in shareholders' best interests and is also subject to regulatory review.

Mantra shareholders will vote on the scheme at a meeting expected to be held in March 2018.

Mantra Group operates the Mantra, Peppers and Breakfree brands with more than 125 properties in Australia, New Zealand, Bali and Hawaii.

The company has been the subject of takeover speculation for the past six months and Mantra has been linked to approaches by the Marriott Group, and other potential buyers including the InterContinental Hotel and Hyatt groups along with Chinese-based hotel operators HNA and the Nanshan Group.

Mantra Group lifted its FY17 underlying net profit after tax by 14.2 per cent to $47.2 as six new properties were added to its network during the 2017 financial year to June.

However, it came in below market guidance of between $48.5 million and $52.5 million as its Gold Coast properties were impacted by lower occupancy because of the Dreamworld tragedy last October in which four people were killed on the Thunder Rapids ride.

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Business News Australia

Author: Ben Hall





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