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* Accor to buy South American hotels of Grupo Posadas
* Deal follows U.S. Motel 6 sale, Australian Mirvac purchase
PARIS, July 16 (Reuters) - Accor has agreed to buy the South American hotel portfolio of Mexican company Grupo Posadas for $275 million as it accelerates expansion in fast-growing emerging markets at a time of muted growth in Europe.
The deal follows Accor’s sale of troubled U.S. budget hotel chain Motel 6 for $1.9 billion in May and the closing of the acquisition of Australian hotel group Mirvac.
By 0833 GMT, shares in Accor, Europe’s largest hotel group, were up 0.7 percent at 24.93 euros, outperforming the CAC 40 index of French blue chips, which was down 0.2 percent.
“The acquisition is justified from a strategic standpoint, strengthening Accor’s leadership in Latin America ... and taking Accor away from its European focus,” Oddo Securities analysts said in a note.
The purchase includes 15 hotels in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. It also includes 14 hotels under management contract, as well as two brands operated by Grupo Posadas in South America - Ceasar Park and Ceasar Business.
The deal should close by the end of 2012, Accor said.
Accor, the world’s fourth-largest hotel group behind the InterContinental, Marriott, and Starwood chains, reports second-quarter revenue after the market closes on July 17.
“We expect the company to provide a positive trading update for the second quarter,” Barclays analysts said in a recent note. “We believe that trading is likely to decelerate later this year, however.” (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Nina Sovich; Editing by James Regan)