Accor in talks with Chinese group HNA to counter Jin Jiang: JDD

The logo of French hotel operator AccorHotels is seen on top of the company's headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - The head of hotel company Accor ACCP.PA has held talks with Chinese conglomerate HNA to try to thwart an attempt by another Chinese group Jin Jiang to increase its stake in the company, French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche reported on Sunday.

The paper said Accor’s Chief Executive Sebastien Bazin hoped to prevent Jin Jiang from increasing its stake to 29 percent which would trigger a public offer.

Jin Jiang already holds 15.6 percent of Accor’s listed shares, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Accor shares rose 3.3 percent and were the biggest gainers in the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 on Friday, after another paper Le Figaro said Jin Jiang 600754.SS planned to increase its stake in Accor to 29 percent.

“According to our information, the CEO of Accor Hotels, who declined to comment, is in contact with another Chinese group HNA, to counter Jin Jiang,” the Le Journal du Dimanche reported without citing its sources.

The French weekly newspaper said that another option, backed by several ministers, would be for the French state to take a 10 percent stake in Accor.

HNA already has a 10 percent holding in holiday group Pierre et Vacances PVAC.PA and is in exclusive talks to takeover Servair, Air France's catering subsidiary.

Reporting by Yann Le Guernigou and Bate Felix. Editing by Jane Merriman