Compagnie des Alpes tackles mountain accommodation

Compagnie des Alpes tackles mountain accommodation

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In Avoriaz, February 11, 2021.

Compagnie des Alpes (CDA), the world’s leading ski area operator, is giving its diversification a boost. The subsidiary of the Caisse des dépôts announced, on Wednesday night, June 29, the acquisition of the host MMV, operator of 11,500 beds in the Alps. MMV (Sea, Mountain, Holidays), which has a total of 10 hotels and 10 club residences of 3 and 4 stars, is the second largest hotel operator in the French mountains behind Club Med. With two fundraisers since 2018 and eight establishments open since 2019, the group created thirty-three years ago in the Var has abandoned its first “M”, the sea, to focus on the second, the mountain, and accelerate its development there.

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Compagnie des Alpes, for its part, operates many large French resorts under public service delegation, including Les Arcs, Tignes and La Plagne, where MMV is present. Its other activity focuses on amusement parks, since it owns, among others, Futuroscope, Parc Astérix and Walibi. At the end of Covid-19, the CDA is one of the few mountain players with strong backs.

logical evolution

The takeover will initially affect 85% of the capital, leaving the remaining 15% “three to four years” in the hands of the two main managers of MMV. The operation values ​​the company at 172.6 million euros, including a net debt of 76.6 million. A reasonable amount for a host that has just recorded, in the 2021-2022 financial year, a gross operating surplus (ebitda) of 25.2 million euros. This acquisition is the logical continuation of the evolution of Compagnie des Alpes, created by the State to save French resorts and which has become a giant of French tourism. For several years now, the CDA has made no secret of its ambitions to extend its influence in the French mountain value chain, as it has invested in the sharing of stays, activities and even mobility, relaunching the night between London and the Alps.

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A capital increase a year ago heralded bigger ambitions, and the company said it was ready, “take advantage of foreign growth opportunities in France and in Europe”. “The idea is not to become hegemonic”, indicates the group, which assures its will to remedy the problem of “cold beds”, these apartments of tourist residences now outside the commercial circuits. Their growing number endangers the ski industry, depriving it of customers in a context where mountain construction is increasingly difficult and costly.

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“By providing a quality accommodation offer focused on families, Compagnie des Alpes will be able to directly contribute to ensuring warm beds, offering an alternative to cut sales, as well as renewing the clientele of the resorts »says Dominique Thillaud, its managing director.

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