EasyHotel appoints new chief after takeover battle

EasyHotel has appointed a new boss, months after a Luxembourg investment group bought a majority stake in the listed business.

The budget hotel firm has announced that Francois Bacchetta will join the company as its chief executive in the spring.

In November, Guy Parsons stepped down from the helm of the hospitality company, with chairman Scott Christie taking over as interim chief executive.

Mr Bacchetta joins the company from easyJet, where he has worked for the past 15 years and is currently country director for France and Italy.

EasyHotel was founded in 2005 by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou as part of his easyGroup and now runs 40 hotels globally.

Sir Stelios still owns a 28% stake in the company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s junior AIM index, and recently blocked attempts to take the firm private.

In August, Luxembourg group ICAMAP purchased a 52% majority stake in the business, but was unable to build a large enough holding to take the company off the market, due to opposition from the easyJet founder.

The hotel business recently posted a 56% rise in revenue to £17.6 million for the year to September 30.

Harm Meijer, non-executive chairman of the business, said: “Following a comprehensive search, we are pleased that Francois is joining us to lead easyHotel in its aspiration to become a European leader in the super budget hotel segment.

“He knows the easy brand and understands its values extremely well. He also brings a wealth of experience in developing businesses, strategy, business optimisation, leadership, marketing and revenue management.”

Mr Bacchetta said: “EasyHotel is a business I greatly admire and I am thrilled to be appointed.

“With a strong hotel network established in the UK, I believe this is a very exciting time for the brand and I look forward to leading the expansion in Europe as the group seeks to become a leader in the budget hotel space.”

Shares in the company remained flat at 87.5p in morning trading on Tuesday.