Sam Nazarian On Sbe’s Strategic New Partnership With AccorHotels

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Sam NazarianPhoto Credit: sbe

AccorHotels has officially entered a strategic partnership with world-renowned hospitality brand sbe to acquire 50-percent of the company. The other 50-percent will still be run by CEO Sam Nazarian. In the exciting wake of this announcement of two powerhouse hospitality brands coming together, we chatted with Nazarian himself to discuss the partnership and what this means for the future and expansion plans for sbe.

HL: How will this partnership enhance both brands? Why did the partnership make sense?

SN: Over the past several years, sbe has been approached by many different potential strategic partners and has considered many different potential transactions. In assessing the viability of such partners and deals, my main focus was always on finding a complementary business offering to ours, a like-minded approach to our view of hospitality and perhaps most importantly, ‘chemistry’ with its leadership. Accor fits that criteria perfectly.

First and foremost, this long-term investment by Accor will allow sbe to leverage AccorHotels’ leading global hospitality platform while allowing us to remain an independent luxury lifestyle operator. Through this investment, sbe will accelerate its international growth with expansion into new markets outside of the U.S., including priority growth markets in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle Land China and Latin America. This partnership will also allow AccorHotels’ to further pursue its strategy to expand its offering in the luxury lifestyle hospitality segment and its footprint in gateway cities across North America.

Second, I have followed Accor and their industry-leading hospitality platform for many years. Their like-minded approach to augmented hospitality, collaborative partnerships and strategic acquisitions are helping redefine the industry landscape and on a larger scale, represents exactly what my ambition has been in building sbe. 

Lastly, I am very close with Accor’s incredible CEO and visionary, Sébastien Bazin, and we share the same vision for the future of lifestyle hospitality. The chemistry between our two organizations is palpable and everyone at sbe is tremendously excited to combine the unique offerings of both groups to provide our guests with unparalleled lifestyle experiences and provide both current and future hotel owners the opportunity to work with an independent global company and their sales and marketing platforms. This partnership with AccorHotels truly marks the beginning of a new chapter in sbe history!

HL: Tell us about your plans to add 50 properties by 2020. How does this partnership affect that?

SN: The partnership with AccorHotels is only going to accelerate the growth of sbe in the U.S. and in the international market. As per today, the sbe portfolio will grow to over 50 hotels by 2020. This is further compounded by our tremendous expansion in the residential, culinary and entertainment segments of the 360-degree lifestyle experience, including over 100 global food and beverage and entertainment venues in the pipeline. With its global international business development team, AccorHotels will support sbe in its expansion across all verticals. 

The sbe brands will also play an important role in existing AccorHotels properties around the world—especially with the culinary and nightlife brands that we bring to the partnership. We don’t think that the portfolio overlaps, rather, we complement each other. 

There is not one singular brand that we are going to focus on—this is going to be an effort that will involve every single brand in hotels, residences, restaurants and nightlife categories. 

HL: Where do you see sbe within the next five years?

SN: A full integrated global hospitality company leading the industry creating truly 360-degree destinations including hotels, residences, spas, culinary and entrainments venues. Most importantly, sbe will continue to be at forefront of industry innovation. For example, one of our major long-term initiatives is integrating sbe’s existing loyalty plan into a comprehensive loyalty offering that takes advantage of Accor’s current LeClub program. Our goal is to integrate with the Accor team in 2019 and define the specifics of this initiative, and we are sure this integration will be innovative, value-added and provide future and existing sbe customers with unparalleled perks, access and incredible experiences never before seen in the lifestyle space.

HL: Where are some of the next big destinations you see coming forth in the global hospitality world?

SN: This long-term investment by Accor will allow sbe to leverage AccorHotels’ leading global hospitality platform while allowing us to remain an independent luxury lifestyle operator. Through this investment, sbe will accelerate its international growth with expansion into new markets outside of the U.S., including priority growth markets in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle Land China and Latin America. This partnership will also allow AccorHotels’ to further pursue its strategy to expand its offering in the luxury lifestyle hospitality segment and its footprint in gateway cities across North America.

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