has launched the ALL Heartist Fund to assist its employees and others who are being affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). The Board of Directors decided to withdraw its proposal for a 2019 dividend payment of roughly €280 million (approximately $303 million). Of this, one-quarter (approximately $76 million) will be allocated to the ALL Heartist Fund, a COVID-19 special purpose vehicle. "ALL" is short for Accor Live Limitless, the brand's loyalty program. This fund will typically assist:
- The group’s 300,000 employees, pledging to pay for their COVID-19-related hospital expenses, for those who do not have social security or medical insurance
- On a case-by-case basis, furloughed employees suffering great financial distress
- On a case-by-case basis, individual partners facing financial difficulty
In addition, the group will further deploy its solidarity initiatives to support front-line healthcare professionals and non-profit organizations.
“Through this impactful gesture, we wish to express our solidarity and gratitude to all those demonstrating courage and selflessness during this crisis,” Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of Accor, said in an official release. “As our industry is going through tough times, we have to make tough decisions, but Accor has a strong balance sheet, which will enable it to withstand this crisis and emerge with strength during the recovery period.”
Currently, more than half of Accor’s branded hotels are closed, and likely two-thirds will be closed in the coming weeks. One piece of good news, Accor adds, is the initial recovery of the Chinese hotel market, with mild improvements in occupancy and F&B activity.