by Bill Hoffman
THE ownership of seven of the Sunshine Coast's major resort hotels may be about to change hands with French hospitality giant AccorHotels entering a binding agreement to acquire the Mantra Group Limited.
The deal at $3.96 a share represents an implied market capitalisation for Mantra of $1.182 billion.
It would include a change of ownership for Mantra French Quarter and Peppers Noosa Resort and Villas at the northern end of the Coast, Breakfree Resort at Alexandra Headland, Breakfree Grand Pacific at Caloundra and Mantra Sirocco, Mantra Zanzibar and Mantra Mooloolaba Beach in Mooloolaba.
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said both hotel groups had been great supporters of Sunshine Coast tourism.
"Accor and Mantra have been very important to the Sunshine Coast," he said. "They both do a very good job of marketing the region."
On the Sunshine Coast AccorHotels already runs The Sebel Noosa, Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, The Sebel Twin Waters The Sebel Maroochydore and The Sebel Pelican Waters as well as Novotel Twin Waters Resort.
Mantra Group Limited spokesperson Naomi Hammond said the deal was in its early stages with a series of regulatory approvals still to be obtained.
Mantra chairman Peter Bush said the AccorHotels offer had recognised "the strategic value of our business and our success in becoming a leading accommodation provider".
"AccorHotels has a global capability and deep skills that will benefit Mantra's customers and provide opportunities for our team members," he said.
Travel Daily has reported shareholders would be given the opportunity to vote on the scheme at a meeting expected for the first quarter of next year, with the deal scheduled to be finalised by March 31, 2018.
It said Mantra's directors have unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme, in the absence of a superior proposal.
Mantra has appointed an Independent Expert to determine whether the Scheme is in the best interests of Mantra shareholders.