Eurazeo In Talks to Sell B&B Hotels

PARIS (Reuters) – French financial holding firm Eurazeo (EURA.PA) is in talks with several investment funds about the sale of its B&B Hotels business, three sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

“Eurazeo has received numerous expressions of interest for B&B from several funds,” one of the sources said on Tuesday. “They are looking at them.”

A source close to the deal said the budget hotel chain was worth between 600 million and 1 billion euros ($1.34 billion).

Bidding is currently in its second round, two sources said, with large private equity firms looking at the asset.

B&B hotels has weathered the economic crisis relatively well. In 2009 the hotel chain reported an 11.3 percent rise in operating profit to 71 million euros. During that period the company also opened 20 new hotels in France, Germany and Italy.

“There is appetite for the high end and the low end but not much in the middle,” said one of the sources, referring to the hotel market.

Eurazeo declined to comment on whether B&B Hotels was for sale. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus, Nina Sovich and Pascale Denis; Editing by Mike Nesbit) ($1=.7453 euros)