HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 29 June 2007

The latest hospitality news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa
Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 29 June 2007
Invesco Real Estate Buys Five European Hotels
Fimit Acquires Forte Village Resort
Rahala Drives Holiday Inn Express Into Saudi Arabia
Courtyard Steps Out In Saudi Arabia
The Pearl Azure Sisters Shop In The Emirates
Work Begins On The Mazagan Resort In Morocco
Solidere Wants To Build Globally
Norgani Stocks Up In Stockholm
Much Talked-Of Spa Hotel In Norway To Come Into Port
Garden Inns Get Their Teeth Into Italy's Ankle
Ruwaad Previews Paramount Pictures Theme Park

Invesco Real Estate Buys Five European Hotels
Invesco Real Estate has bought for one of its funds five hotels in two separate transactions for which it paid a total of €120 million. Four of the hotels were bought from Azure Group: the 180-room Park Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, the 164-room Holiday Inn Wroclaw, the 143-room Holiday Inn Gdansk and the 146-room Innside Premium Hotel in the Niederrad business district of Frankfurt. The two Holiday Inns were leased back to Azure. The fifth hotel, the 152-room Sofitel Nice Centre (now the NH Nice), was acquired in a separate deal. HVS’s London office acted as valuers to the hotel fund.

Fimit Acquires Forte Village ResortReturn to Headlines
Fimit (Fondi Immobiliari Italiani), a private Italian real estate fund, has completed its acquisition of the luxury Forte Village Resort, which is located in Santa Margherita di Pula on the southern shores of the island of Sardinia. The company paid LB FV, a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers, €312 million for the beachfront property, which offers a total of 758 rooms in seven hotels.

Rahala Drives Holiday Inn Express Into Saudi ArabiaReturn to Headlines
Naeem Holding, the investment bank, and Siraj Capital, the investment firm, are the co-managers of Rahala, a company based in Saudi Arabia that has been set up to invest in the hospitality and tourism sectors in the Middle East and North Africa. Rahala has already secured the rights to the Express by Holiday Inn brand in Saudi Arabia and it will invest around US$200 million over the next five years in a minimum of ten hotels. The company has also secured a co-development agreement covering the Courtyard by Marriott brand and is to assist Kempinski Hotels with its five-star lifestyle brand Shaza. HVS’s London office undertook a detailed regional feasibility study for Rahala.

Courtyard Steps Out In Saudi ArabiaReturn to Headlines
When the Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartments brands both make their debut in Saudi Arabia in 2009 they will almost double the number of rooms that Marriott International currently has in the country. A management agreement signed with Fawaz Abdul Aziz Al Hokair & Associates Hotels will see a 300-room Courtyard by Marriott and a 100-unit Marriott Executive Apartments property arrive in the Red Sea port of Jeddah and a 200-room Courtyard by Marriott established in the capital Riyadh.

The Pearl Azure Sisters Shop In The EmiratesReturn to Headlines
Pearl Azure Hotels Management went shopping in Abu Dhabi and its sister Pearl Azure Properties browsed the hotel racks in Dubai. Each returned with purchases, the Abu Dhabi bag being the fuller. Each bag contained a Crowne Plaza hotel, but Pearl Azure Hotels Management made its sister envious by producing the Sands Hotel too, a property which is operated by Abu Dhabi National Hotels. The money for the shopping spree – Dh1.3 billion (US$354 million) – was provided by National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Emirates Bank.

Work Begins On The Mazagan Resort In MoroccoReturn to Headlines
Work is officially under way on the first phase of the Mazagan Resort in El Jadida on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. By the time construction is finished towards the end of 2009, the resort will cover 514 hectares and will include a 500-room hotel, a selection of restaurants, a conference centre and an 18-hole golf course. Kerzner International will be managing the US$350 million complex, which has the backing of a host of Moroccan investors and Istithmar, from the emirate of Dubai.

Solidere Wants To Build GloballyReturn to Headlines
Solidere (Société libanaise pour le développement et la reconstruction) is the company charged with the task of reconstructing and developing the centre of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. Solidere’s investment arm Solidere International reportedly has plans to establish Solidere International Hotels and Resorts (SIHAR), a firm that will develop and manage hotels around the world. SIHAR is also to take a stake of 37.5% in Nikki Beach Hotels and Resorts, which at the start of this year announced its own plans to develop luxury hotels and resorts worldwide.

Norgani Stocks Up In StockholmReturn to Headlines
Norgani Hotels has increased its portfolio in the Swedish capital Stockholm to nine hotels (1,928 rooms) by agreeing to purchase two properties from Scandic Hotels. In a deal that is expected to close on 1 October, the hotel property investor from Norway is to pay a total of SKr702 million (€75.7 million) for the 112-room Scandic Hasselbacken and the 325-room Scandic Alvik. Scandic Hotels has entered into a 15-year rental agreement on each property. Norgani has been busy back at home too, where it has reached an agreement with the operator of the Radisson SAS Lillehammer Hotel to build a congress centre of around 1,000 m². The facility at the 303-room hotel should be ready at the end of 2008.

Much Talked-Of Spa Hotel In Norway To Come Into PortReturn to Headlines
When Veidekke, the Norwegian property developer, feels the urge to construct something in its native land it goes by the name Veidekke Entreprenør. This is the company that has been talking with Larvik Strandhotell since 2003 about the possibility of building a spa hotel in the southern port of Larvik. The conversation is over, drowned out by the sound of mechanical diggers signalling the start of work to build the Farris Bad. Choice Hotels Scandinavia will lease and operate the 177-room hotel once it is finished in March 2009. The contract between Veidekke Entreprenør and Larvik Strandhotell, a company owned by Treschow-Fritzøe and Canica, is worth NKr161.3 million (€20 million).

Garden Inns Get Their Teeth Into Italy's AnkleReturn to Headlines
The Hilton Garden Inn adventure in Italy began last year with the opening of two hotels: one in Florence and one at Rome airport. The action will continue on the ankle of Italy’s boot when the newly built 150-room Hilton Garden Inn Matera and the 88-room Hilton Garden Inn Bari (formerly the Scandic by Hilton Bari) open later this year. Both hotels are owned by Gruppo Degennaro and both are to be managed by Nicolaus Hotels, a division of that company.

Ruwaad Previews Paramount Pictures Theme ParkReturn to Headlines
“Okay, bricklayers, places please. Cement-mixers rolling and – action.” Thus might the director of the gang assigned the task of constructing a theme park with the Paramount Pictures brand announce the start of the work. Ruwaad Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai 9 Group, an investment firm, has signed an agreement with Paramount Licensing for the planned park in the United Arab Emirates. The theme park would be part of a development costing US$2.5 billion that would include boutique hotels and resorts.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 21/06/07-28/06/07

Whitbread - Investors bought into the stock amid fresh takeover talk.

Sol Meliá - Late in the week Standard & Poor's gave a positive outlook on favourable growth and confirmed the company's BB+ rating.

InterContinental Hotels Group - Evolution Securities earlier in the week raised its rating from 'Add' to 'Buy'.