AXA Real Estate has sold of a portfolio of hotels back to operator Accor six years after acquiring them.

The investment manager sold the Swiss hotels for CHF219m (€180m) having redeveloped and refurbished them.

Accor, which sold the 11 hotels to AXA Real Estate as part of a wider Franco-Swiss portfolio in 2008, has been reacquiring properties for its Hotelinvest subsidiary. In May, it announced that it had agreed to buy hotels in Germany and the Netherlands back from Moor Park Capital Partners which it sold in 2007.

AXA Real Estate paid Accor €518m for the larger Franco-Swiss portfolio in 2008 on behalf of a consortium of investors including French bank Caisse des Depots et Consignations and AXA Real Estate’s European Hotel Venture (EHV) and Alternative Property Income Venture (APIV) investment funds. The majority of the properties were in France.

AXA Real Estate chief executive Pierre Vaquier said it had bought the portfolio at an “advantageous point in the market cycle”.

AXA Real Estate redeveloped and refurbished the hotels with financing from BNP Paribas, Calyon, HSBC France and Natixis, operating under the Novotel, MGallery, Ibis New and Ibis Budget brands.

Accor has operated the 1,592 hotel rooms since 2008 under variable-rent leases. The French leisure group, through its HotelInvest vehicle, is now buying back properties it sold in 2007.

At the time of the 2007 sale to Moor Park, Accor said it was changing its property strategy and focusing on its core hotel operation. The €863m sale was regarded as a long-term partnership, enabling Accor to use funds to expand in Germany and The Netherlands. Seven years on, Accor has control of the bricks behind the brand again.