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Accor buys out Becton Timeshare

Accor Asia Pacific will take control of the Accor Première
Vacation Club (APVC) with today’s buyout from its joint-venture partner, the Becton
Property Group.

Established in 2000, Accor Première Vacation Club leads the holiday ownership
industry in Australia and New Zealand with projected revenues in 2006 of AU$150
million - a 65% increase on 2005. The company has spent over AU$80 million in
property acquisitions since 2000, with plans for more acquisitions as well as
purpose built developments. 


APVC’s property portfolio increased to 16 with yesterday’s purchase of one of
Australia’s most historic boutique hotels, Grand Mercure Mt Lofty House in the
Adelaide Hills for just over AU$5 million. APVC also operates 15 sales preview
centres in all mainland Australian states and in New Zealand. The next stage of
expansion for the company is planned for outside of Australia and New Zealand with
the Novotel Nusa Dua in Bali scheduled to open in January 2007.



Accor Asia Pacific Managing Director Michael Issenberg said that the timing for
Accor’s buyout of the Becton share was ideal. “With Accor recognised as the fastest
growing hotel and resort group in the Asia Pacific, it was time to align the full
potential of APVC’s expansion with our own,” Issenberg said.


“The potential for timeshare in the region is significant, especially as consumers
understand that modern-day holiday ownership is completely different from the 1980s
model. The flexibility, genuine value and vast range of holiday options have created
a new era for the industry and we are very optimistic about future growth prospects.
The linkage with Accor’s core hotel business will provide benefits for APVC’s
current and future members, and will see our traditional high rate of occupancy
continue to grow.”


“APVC has benefited greatly from Becton’s participation over the past six years, ,”
said Martin Kandel, CEO of APVC. “However our expansion plans into Asia, and
Becton’s changing focus on its retirement and funds management businesses,
highlighted the need to link more closely with Accor for our future development.


“Timeshare has matured significantly as an industry since APVC was launched in 2000,
and it is now considered the most dynamic sector of the hospitality and tourism
industry in this region, with an annual growth rate of over 10% per annum in the
past five years,” Kandel said.


The industry body, the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council, has
predicted a possible doubling or tripling of the industry’s size over the next 10
years, based on the fact that in the past six years the number of timeshare owners
has increased by 50% to more than 125,000, the number of resorts in Australia has
increased from 57 to 73, and the average annual net sales of timeshare has grown to
$173 million.