HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 22 June 2007

The latest hospitality news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 22 June 2007
Meridia Capital Partners Closes Its First Fund
Rezidor Gets Its Place In The Sun
Heuston: The Phoenicia Has Been Landed
Premier Travel Inn To Cut Out The 'Travel'
And You Shall Know Them By The Trail Of Their Tulips
QE2 To Become A Floating Hotel
Emirates Soars To 376 Metres
A First Days Inn For France; A Ninth Sleep Inn For The UK
Park Plaza Aims For AIM
Express By Holiday Inn: Start In Antrim Then Across To Banbury
The Crown Estate To Sell Metropole Building
Althoff Of St James
It's A Holiday Inn, That's Plain

Meridia Capital Partners Closes Its First Fund
Meridia Capital Partners, a private equity group based in the Spanish city of Barcelona, has closed its first fund, Meridia Capital Hospitality I. The fund has €150 million to spend on the acquisition or development of luxury hotels in Europe, Turkey, Morocco, India, the Caribbean and Latin America. Around 70% of the money in the fund comes from Spanish investors; the fund can be leveraged to invest more than €500 million.

Rezidor Gets Its Place In The Sun Return to Headlines
This year I'm off to sunny Spain, trilled Rezidor Hotel Group. The company did not though take the Costa Brava plane, for its destiny was the Costa del Sol, in the south of the country. Rezidor’s first hotel in Spain forms part of the Mijas Golf development, which lies between the resorts of Marbella and Málaga. The Radisson SAS El Marques Resort & Spa, which has 105 suites, is owned by Mijas Hill Development and is operated by Rezidor’s franchise partner Hoteles, Ocio y Restauración.

Heuston: The Phoenicia Has Been Landed Return to Headlines
Heuston Hospitality, an Irish company operating in the four-star and five-star sectors, has touched down in Valletta, the capital of the Mediterranean island of Malta, to acquire the Le Meridien Phoenicia. The 136-room hotel was sold for an undisclosed sum by Starman UK, the joint venture established by Starwood Capital Group and Lehman Brothers Holdings. Heuston has plans to refurbish and to add bedrooms and a spa to the property.

Premier Travel Inn To Cut Out The 'Travel' Return to Headlines
Whitbread is to spend £13 million later this year on changing the name of its budget hotel chain Premier Travel Inn to Premier Inn. The portfolio will also benefit from capital expenditure of £9 million. The name change is designed to give the chain a more recognisable profile. Not that Whitbread’s shareholders have much trouble remembering the chain’s name, for Premier Travel Inn is to be found invariably at the top of Whitbread’s sales figures. And there it was again in the results for the 13 weeks to 31 May 2007 leading the way with like-for-like sales growth of 10.1%. Whitbread as a whole saw like-for-like sales growth of 5.6%.

And You Shall Know Them By The Trail Of Their Tulips Return to Headlines
“So that’s agreed then,” said Eurotrade Real Estate International to Golden Tulip Hospitality, “I buy the hotels and you operate them.” The Israeli company made an immediate demonstration of its commitment to the marriage by presenting its partner with an 84-room, four-star hotel in Bad Reichenhall, a border town in Germany that is but a few miles from the Austrian city of Salzburg. Golden Tulip will manage the property, which Eurotrade acquired for €4.2 million, for 15 years initially. While Golden Tulip makes itself at home in what is its seventeenth hotel in Germany, Eurotrade will go out a-hunting elsewhere in Europe, and in Asia and the USA too, in the hope of delighting its partner with gifts of another 25 hotels over the next three years.

QE2 To Become A Floating Hotel Return to Headlines
The liner QE2 has sailed the world 25 times since coming into service in 1969. In November 2008 she will sail into the hands of Dubai World and drop anchor permanently at a specially constructed berth at The Palm, Jumeirah development off the coast of Dubai. Istithmar, the investment arm of Dubai World, a holding company wholly owned by the government of the emirate of Dubai, paid Cunard US$100 million for the illustrious vessel, which from 2009 will be refurbished and turned into a luxury floating hotel.

Emirates Soars To 376 Metres Return to Headlines
NASA Multiplex, a division of Multiplex Group, the Australian property developer, is to begin work next month on what will be the tallest hotel in the United Arab Emirates. The Emirates Park Towers Hotel & Residence in Dubai will consist of two 80-storey towers that will house 900 rooms and suites, and 300 apartments. The green, glass and aluminium edifice is scheduled to open in 2010 and will be part of the portfolio of Emirates Hotels & Resorts. The construction contract signed by NASA Multiplex and the airline Emirates is worth Dh2.1 billion (around US$570 million).

A First Days Inn For France; A Ninth Sleep Inn For The UK Return to Headlines
The 115-room Days Inn Aulnay Parc des Expositions is the first Days Inn hotel in France. A former Relais Bleu property in the town of Aulnay-sous-Bois, on the outskirts of Paris, has been renovated by its owner, the developer IH Group. If it’s Sleep you seek (a Sleep Inn, that is) then you will have to cross the Channel to England and head for the city of Birmingham, exiting the M6 at Junction 6. The UK’s ninth such property is the Sleep Inn Birmingham Star City, which takes its name from the nearby Star City entertainment complex. The £4.9 million hotel has 90 rooms.

Park Plaza Aims For AIM Return to Headlines
Park Plaza Hotels, which owns and operates de luxe four-star and boutique properties in Europe and the Middle East, has plans to float on the AIM (Alternative Investment Market). According to the Financial Times, the company hopes to raise just over £100 million from its listing, which the newspaper reports will happen at the end of July. Park Plaza will invest most of the proceeds in the expansion of its portfolio.

Express By Holiday Inn: Start In Antrim Then Across To Banbury Return to Headlines
The Express by Holiday Inn Antrim, which is only the second Express by Holiday Inn (EHI) hotel in Northern Ireland, will officially open on 26 June. The 90-room property is the first to roll off the production line at Culzean Holdings, a joint venture set up by native property developers Cusp and the Kennedy Group. Culzean last year secured a £30 million deal with InterContinental Hotels Group to develop the EHI brand in Northern Ireland. The Express by Holiday Inn Antrim, which stands next to the shopping outlet Junction One, will be managed by BDL Hotel Group, whereas an EHI hotel to be built next to Junction 11 (of the M40 motorway) will be managed by Butterfly Management, part of Butterfly Hotels. The 120-room property is to be constructed by Eastlake Developments at the Stroud Park mixed-use development near the town of Banbury in central England.

The Crown Estate To Sell Metropole Building Return to Headlines
The Crown Estate is to sell Metropole Building, which occupies a triangular island site on Northumberland Avenue in the heart of the West End of London. The building was home to the fashionable Metropole hotel for some 50 years up to 1936 and it will delight in the company of hotel guests once again after the sale, as The Crown Estate has stipulated that roughly 16,400 m² of a building of around 28,500 m² be devoted to high-quality hotel use.

Althoff Of St James Return to Headlines
When The St James Hotel and Club reopens in January 2008 it will enter into the collection of Althoff Hotels & Residences. The 61-room property in the Mayfair district of London has since last November been enjoying a complete refurbishment costing a reported £5 million. The luxury town house will be the German hotel group’s first property in the UK, and will add to the six luxury hotels the company has in its native land and its single hotel in France.

It's A Holiday Inn, That's Plain Return to Headlines
Picture the dedicated Druid who for more years than he might care to remember has lain upon the ground at Stonehenge, a molehill for his pillow, the sky above his eiderdown, waiting for sunrise on solstice day. Now well into middle age he wakes at dawn, his body racked with rheumatism caused by lying on the dew-drenched sod and thinks, stuff this, isn’t there a hotel near here. And now there is; for just a mile away from the stone circle InterContinental Hotels Group has opened the 103-room Holiday Inn Salisbury-Stonehenge. Our Druid friend in his comfy bed can watch the sun rising through a chink in the curtains rather than through a chink between the stones. And no more will he have to sip dew from the cup of a mushroom; instead he can down wine or champagne from a glass in the hotel’s 24-hour lounge bar.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 14/06/07-21/06/07

Accor - Oddo Securities raised its rating from 'Hold' to 'Buy' as it noted that the stock's recent fall had created a buying opportunity.

Sol Meliá - Merrill Lynch raised its rating from 'Neutral' to 'Buy' and stated a target price of €19.95.

InterContinental Hotels Group - The share price fell on market fears of a retrospective tax threat.

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Russell Kett, Managing Director rkett@hvs.com
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Bernard Forster, Director bforster@hvs.com
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Christopher Mumford, Managing Dir., Executive Search cmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Dir. EMEA & Asia, HVS Shared Ownership Services pbacon@hvs.com
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Author ajones@hvs.com