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The Sofitel Hotels in New York and Philadelphia Sold for $255 million; 
Accor Remains  25% Owner and Continues to Manage the Hotels 
CARROLLTON, Texas - Accor has announced the sale of two US Sofitel hotels located in New York and Philadelphia, totaling 704 rooms, for US $255 million to a joint venture comprised of GEM Realty Capital, Inc., Whitehall Street Real Estate Fund and Accor. Created in March 2006, the joint venture already owns six US Sofitel hotels in Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Washington, DC. 

Accor will remain a 25% shareholder in the joint venture and continue to manage the hotels under the Sofitel brand name through a 25-year contract. 

The transaction is part of the Group’s asset management strategy in the upper upscale segment, which is designed to increase the return on capital employed and reduce earnings volatility through sale and management-back arrangements. It effectively completes Accor’s transformation of its Sofitel business model for North America, with a hotel base operated primarily under management contracts. 
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Sofitel New York
45 West 44TH Street
New York, New York  

Sofitel Philadelphia Hotel
120 South 17th Street
Philadelphia, Pennslyvania
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The sale strengthens the original partnership formed between Accor and two reputable hotel real estate investment companies, which offers opportunities for developing the Sofitel network in North America through management contracts. 

The transaction will have a positive impact on 2007 profit before tax and will enable the Group to reduce its adjusted debt by more than €150 million. 

“For our customers, vendors and employees, this partnership has been and will continue to be a seamless transition that will allow us to significantly accelerate the presence of Sofitel throughout North America,” said Georges Le Mener, president and CEO of Accor North America. “We have worked together with GEM and Whitehall as true partners these last ten months and will continue our search for further growth opportunities for our joint venture.” 

“We are truly pleased with the opportunity to expand our relationship with Accor through the acquisition of New York and Philadelphia, bringing our Sofitel portfolio to eight luxury hotels,” said Barry Malkin, senior managing partner of GEM Realty Capital, Inc. 

Accor North America is a division of Paris-based Accor S.A. GEM Realty Capital, Inc. is a real estate investment company located in Chicago, Illinois. Whitehall Street Global Real Estate Limited Partnership 2005, a real estate investment fund, is sponsored and managed by Goldman Sachs. 

GEM Realty Capital, Inc. 

Founded in 1994, GEM Realty Capital, Inc. is a Chicago-based real estate investment company that invests in private-market and publicly traded real estate through two lines of business, GEM Realty Properties and GEM Realty Securities. GEM invests capital on behalf of pension funds, insurance companies, financial institutions, endowments, foundations, and private clients. 

Whitehall Street Global Real Estate Limited Partnership 2005 

Whitehall Street Global Real Estate Limited Partnership 2005 is the most recent of the Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds, a family of opportunistic real estate funds sponsored and managed by Goldman Sachs. The Whitehall funds invest in real estate and real estate-related assets worldwide. 

Sofitel North America/Accor North America 

Created in France in 1964, Sofitel is the prestige brand of Accor hotels with 200 upscale hotels in 53 countries, including 10 in North America. Sofitel hotels in North America include Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Miami and Montreal, Canada. Accor North America is a division of Paris-based Accor S.A. 

Sofitel: 200 premium hotels around the world 

Because no one country or city is the same, Sofitel has made each of its 200 hotels around the world a truly unique establishment. Combining the spirit of each place with the values of modernity, refinement and absolute comfort, they are all imbued in their inimitable way with the French “art de vivre”. 

Whether their setting is a great business metropolis like Paris, New York or Tokyo, or nestling in the landscape in Indonesia, Polynesia or Brazil, each Sofitel hotel offers travellers a genuine haven of peace. So that each guest, for an overnight stay or longer, during a business trip or for a holiday, can enjoy the rich variety of these unique places in comfort and tranquillity. 

Accor 

European leader in hotels and tourism, global leader in corporate services, Accor operates in nearly 100 countries with 160,000 employees. It offers to its individual and corporate clients nearly 40 years of expertise in its two core businesses: 
- Hotels, with the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel, Ibis, Red Roof Inn, Etap Hotel, Formule 1, Studio 6 and Motel 6 brands: over 4,000 hotels and 475,000 rooms in 90 countries, as well as strategically related activities, such as Lenôtre; 
- Services to corporate clients and public institutions: 21 million people in 35 countries benefit from Accor Services products – meal and food vouchers, people care, incentive and loyalty programs. 

Contact:

Accor North America
Janice Maragakis, 972-360-5958
Vice President Corporate Communications

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Also See: Accor Breaks Ground On the Hotel Sofitel New York; Manhattan Property Set to Open in 2000 / Aug 1998
Accor Agrees to a Sale & Management Back of Six Sofitel Hotels in the US; Sales 76 French and Belgium Hotels to Fonciere des Murs / March 2006
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