Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2015

Accor: Designing an Asset-Right Business and Disclosure Strategy

by Mozaffar Khan and George Serafeim

Abstract

Sebastien Bazin was now in charge of Accor, the world's largest French hotelier, a CAC 40 company with 3,600 hotels in 92 countries and a market cap of €10 billion. Previously as the European head of Colony Capital, one of the largest private equity groups and the largest shareholder of Accor, Bazin had since 2005 relentlessly pushed an asset-lite strategy from his perch on the Accor Board in the face of vigorous opposition from employees, senior management, and some Board members. Accor's stock price underperformance and the continuous fight over the strategic direction of the company had created turmoil and turnover in the C-suite and on the Board. After multiple CEO exits, and a failure by the Board to identify the next CEO in 2013, Bazin's offer to resign from Colony and assume the CEO position at Accor was met with incredulity from friends, alarm from Accor employees, and applause from the stock market. But would Bazin be able to deliver on his promises to investors and employees to pursue an asset-right strategy? Was an asset-heavy hotelier viable in today's economic environment? Could the market understand and appropriately value such a firm and what could be its disclosure strategy to ensure a fair valuation of the stock? How long would it be before he could deliver on his promises and show fruit from the restructuring?

Citation:

Khan, Mozaffar, and George Serafeim. "Accor: Designing an Asset-Right Business and Disclosure Strategy." Harvard Business School Case 115-036, April 2015.