Accent buys 17% stake in Swedish hotel group(2)

Swedish buyout firm Accent Equity has bought a stake in the largest hotel chain in Sweden, Scandic Hotels, as another deal closes in the hotel sector.

Swedish buyout manager Accent Equity has bought 17 percent of the largest hotel chain in Sweden, Scandic Hotels. Accent is acquiring the stake from rival Swedish buyout firm EQT Partners which is completing its €733 million ($996 million) deal, to buy the chain from Hilton Hotels Corporation.
EQT will retain 83 percent of the company. EQT has appointed the chief executive of Austin Airlines Vagn Sörensen as chairman along with six other directors.

Scandic has 129 hotels in nine countries in northern Europe. It has sales of more than SEK 6 billion ($891 million, €655 million) in 2006 and has around 5,700 employees.

A spokesman for EQT said the buyout firm intended to grow the company organically.

The news comes after a busy time in the hotel sector with Hilton selling ten hotels to Morgan Stanley’s real estate arm for $750 million and real estate specialist JER buying US hotel chain Highland REIT for $2bn.

EQT manages €10.5 billion across ten funds and it has invested in around 50 companies in the Northern European and the Greater Chinese mid-market.

Accent Equity has over €500 million across five different funds. It has invested in more than 40 Nordic mid-market companies. It made the hotel investment from its Accent Equity Fund 2003, which closed on €250 million in July 2004.