Accent buys 17% stake in Swedish hotel group

Swedish private equity firm Accent Equity has purchased a stake in the largest hotel chain in Sweden, Scandic Hotels, a few weeks after EQT agreed to buy the company from Hilton.

Swedish buyout manager Accent Equity has bought 17 percent of the largest hotel chain in Sweden, Scandic Hotels. Accent is acquiring the stake from rival Swedish buyout firm EQT Partners, which agreed in early March to acquire the hospitality company from Hilton Hotels Corporation for €733 million ($996 million).

EQT will retain 83 percent of the company. EQT has appointed the chief executive of Austin Airlines, Vagn Sörensen, as chairman.

Scandic has 129 hotels in nine countries in northern Europe. It generated sales of more than SEK 6 billion ($891 million; €655 million) in 2006 and had approximately 5,700 employees.

A spokesman for EQT said the buyout firm intended to grow the company organically.

The news comes after a busy time in the hotel sector with Hilton selling ten hotels to Morgan Stanley’s real estate arm for $750 million and real estate specialist JER buying US hotel chain Highland REIT for $2bn.

EQT manages €10.5 billion across ten funds and it has invested in around 50 companies in the Northern European and the Greater Chinese mid-market.

Accent Equity has over €500 million across five different funds. It has invested in more than 40 Nordic mid-market companies. It made the hotel investment from its Accent Equity Fund 2003, which closed on €250 million in July 2004.