Accor and Rothschild eye company behind Le Mans and French Open

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AccorHotels and Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners are eyeing up the luxury French events organizer behind Le Mans and the French Open.

The French hotel group and private equity arm of the family-owned bank said on Monday they are in discussions with Potel & Chabot’s shareholders to acquire it for an undisclosed sum.

Potel & Chabot’s biggest shareholder is 21 Centrale Partners, a French investment group. Should a deal be approved by France’s competition authority, Edmond de Rothschild would own a 51 per cent stake with Accor taking 40 per cent.

Potel & Chabot was founded in 1820 by a Parisian pastry chef and cook at the French court. It now specialises in corporate and sports events, including the French Open at Roland Garros and the 24-hr Le Mans car race and is looking to grow beyond Europe in the Middle East, China, Brazil and the US.

Employing 550 staff, with numbers sometimes swelling to more than three times that for large events, it organized more than 10,000 receptions last year with revenues of over €100m. It has been given the badge of Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant, or a living heritage company, by the French state.

Franck Jeantet, chairman and chief executive of Potel & Chabot, said:

It will enable us to support our growth in the luxury hospitality industry both in France and internationally.

Sven Boinet, deputy chief executive of AccorHotels, said:

[The] combination of their knowledge with our leading positions in luxury hospitality, private rental and concierge services will provide our clients with unique services and expertise regarding tailor-made events. It gives us a real boost and allows us to create new growth opportunities beyond the world of travel.

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