The Hoxton Williamsburg - one hotel in the Ennismore lifestyle portfolio.

Accor and Ennismore, owner of the popular Hoxton brand, are set to form a new lifestyle business encompassing some of the strongest names in the global hotel industry.

The operators have entered exclusive negotiations to form what they say will be “the world’s leading lifestyle operator in the hospitality sector, focusing on one of the fastest growing segments of the industry”.

Through an all-share merger, the companies say a new autonomous and fully asset-light entity will “bring together an unrivalled portfolio of world class brands”, including The Hoxton, Gleneagles, Delano, SLS, Mondrian, SO/, Hyde, Mama Shelter, 25hours, 21c Museum Hotels, Tribe, Jo&Joe and Working From.

Accor Chairman and CEO, Sébastien Bazin, said the new entity will be headquartered in London and will take the name Ennismore.

“Lifestyle, entertainment, places with a soul have been at the heart of our development and growth strategy over the last years,” he said.

“Partnering with Ennismore’s founder Sharan and his great teams will take our Lifestyle ambition to a new and exciting level. With this combination, we are leading the hospitality industry by creating the largest and fastest growing ecosystem of world class brands.

“Lifestyle is a sector fuelled by passionate and daring entrepreneurs, constantly pushing the boundaries of a reinvented vision of travelling the world. I am proud Accor has been able to join forces with many of the most creative and talented ones.

“This new powerful combination is set to become the engine of our exciting future growth,” Bazin said.

The announcement of the new business came alongside the news Accor was taking full ownership of sbe’s hotel asset light business including the Delano, Mondrian, SLS, and Hyde hotel brands along with most of sbe’s food and beverage brands.

Sbe currently operates 22 hotels, with more than 40 properties in the pipeline, which has more than doubled since Accor’s initial investment in sbe in 2018, with key upcoming openings such as Mondrian Gold Coast, Mondrian London and SLS Dubai.

The establishment of Accor’s new lifestyle business is also a winner for its Western Australian-born Tribe brand, which recently made its international debut in Paris.

Running the new business will be co-CEOs Sharan Pasricha (Founder and CEO of Ennismore) and Gaurav Bhushan (CEO of the Accor Lifestyle division), who bring together a team of experienced, highly skilled and international hoteliers.

Bazin said Accor would be the majority shareholder of the new entity, with Sharan Pasricha holding a substantial minority position.

In order to form this joint venture, Bazin said Accor intended to buy out its share of sbe as well as Mama Shelter and 25hours.

He said under the leadership of Pasricha and Bhushan, each brand will retain its unique culture and purpose, supported by dedicated teams and with the full support of their founders, including the Trigano family, founders of Mama Shelter; Christoph Hoffman, founder of 25 Hours; Sam Nazarian, founder of sbe; Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson for 21C; and Melissa and Mark Peters for Tribe.

Pasricha said: “Over the last nine years, our mission with Ennismore has always been creating hospitality brands that inspire discovery.

“I’m passionate about how brands make you feel, from the personalised digital experience to the design, and with an incredible team of operators and creatives around me, we have expanded The Hoxton across the globe; reimagined Gleneagles; and crafted unique restaurant and bar concepts.

“This exciting autonomous entity with Accor – one with culture and brand purpose at its heart – allows us to come together to build on our combined portfolio of unique lifestyle brands, accelerate our growth and explore new markets.

“I look forward to working with Gaurav and Sébastien on this exciting next chapter as we become an unrivalled player in the hospitality industry,” Pasricha said.

Bhushan said: “Joining forces with Sharan and Ennismore’s talented teams will be a major step in Accor’s development strategy.

“With this combination, we are putting together an unrivalled portfolio of unique brands that appeals to owners, partners and guests, supported by the greatest set of talents in the industry, state of the art distribution and tools and a common ambition to continue to grow and innovate.

“I very much look forward to our journey together,” he said.

Bhushan said the new, unified and powerful venture will benefit from an in-house global creative studio, designing award-winning interiors and brand communication; an expert digital and technology team innovating the guest experience; and a team of restaurant and bar specialists crafting unique concepts rooted in their neighbourhoods.

The companies said closing is expected to occur in the first semester of 2021 and is subject to the employee consultation process and customary regulatory authorizations for projects of this type.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management