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HOTEL SOFITEL INTERNATIONAL TO COMPLETE FINAL STAGE OF MERGER WITH PULLMAN HOTELS; SOFITEL BRAND TO EXPAND

 PARIS, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Pullman and Sofitel Hotels will complete the final stages of their merger this year, expanding the Hotel Sofitel International chain by converting many of the Pullman properties into Sofitel hotels, it was announced today by Nicholas Ricat, vice president of sales and marketing for Hotel Sofitel.
 According to Ricat, the four-star Pullman properties will become Sofitels, and Pullman hotels at a three-star level (about 25 properties) will be moved into the Mercure brand. Both Sofitel and Mercure are divisions of the French Accor group. "With the completion of this merger, we will be able to increase the presence of Sofitel hotels throughout Europe," said Ricat. "As a result of this transition, Sofitel will have a stronger brand identity among our key markets, including business and leisure travelers as well as travel agents."
 Sofitel will be investing approximately $130 million French Francs (roughly U.S. $25 million) per year between now and 1995 to convert Pullman hotels in the following European cities into Sofitel hotels: Cologne, Frankfurt, Geneva, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Amsterdam and Zurich. The investment will be utilized to renovate and upgrade these properties to the four-star level.
 Pullman and Sofitel hotels were joined in 1991 when Sofitel's parent company, Accor, purchases Wagons-Lits and merged its Pullman brand with Sofitel to create a unified company. The new Sofitel network brings together four-star properties whose primary clientele are executives travelling on business or pleasure. Sofitel is a worldwide chain with hotels conveniently located in all the major capital cities, as well as in prime tourist areas. The chain currently operates 109 hotels -- 58 of which are located in 11 European countries. With excellent price/value ratio and high standards of service, Sofitel is the only network of top quality hotels offering such a wide presence in Europe.
 In the United States, Hotel Sofitel North America operates six hotels under the Sofitel name, plus the Pullman Highland Hotel in Washington, DC. The Pullman Highland is scheduled to become a Sofitel within the next few months. All future development in the U.S. will be under the Sofitel name.
 -0- 6/16/93
 /CONTACT: Laura Davidson of Laura Davidson P.R., 212-353-2169 for Hotels Pullman and Hotel Sofitel International/


CO: Hotel Sofitel International; Pullman ST: IN: LEI SU: TNM

TM-MG -- NY002 -- 2479 06/16/93 09:00 EDT
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Date:Jun 16, 1993
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