HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 27 July 2007

The latest hospitality news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 27 July 2007

  • Host Muscles Its Way Into Brussels
  • ANF Books Into A Multitude Of B&Bs
  • Hilton Rabat The Talk Of Morocco
  • Single Doubletree Planted To Commemorate Brand's European Debut
  • Norgani Fortifies Its Position In Oslo
  • Hospes Opens Its Seventh Hotel In Spain
  • New Chief Executive Boards Orient-Express
  • Turkmenistan Plans Tourist Project
  • Palace Through The Looking-Glass
  • An Analysis Of Rezidor's First-Half Performance
  • First-Half Stats From NH Hoteles
  • European Hotel Finance & Investment Summit Nears

Host Muscles Its Way Into Brussels

“When shall we three meet again?” might Host Hotels & Resorts have enquired of its joint venture familiars Stichting Pensioenfonds, the Dutch pension fund, and GIC Real Estate. “In England, Italy or in Spain?” No, in none of these, where the joint venture already possesses the likes of the Sheraton Skyline Hotel & Conference Center, The Westin Palace, Milan and the Hotel Arts, in Barcelona, but instead upon the Brabant plain – in Brussels. The joint venture joined hands and closed in on the 262-room Renaissance Brussels Hotel, the 218-room Brussels Marriott Hotel and the 57-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Brussels, European Quarter. The purchase price was not revealed, although in conjunction with the acquisition the joint venture closed on a €70.5 million mortgage loan maturing in 2014 that has an interest rate of under 5.65%.

ANF Books Into A Multitude Of B&Bs

ANF, a subsidiary of the French investment company Eurazeo, is to pay €471 million for 159 hotels in France. ANF expects the deal, which is subject to the satisfaction of the usual conditions, to be wholly complete by mid December. The portfolio of properties is and will continue to be run by B&B Hotels, which is the third-largest operator of budget hotels in France. ANF will work with B&B for at least the next three years, investing around €58 million in a chain that extends into Germany and has a total of 189 hotels. Those pleased by symmetry will be interested to learn that it was two years ago this very month that Eurazeo announced that it had purchased Financière Galaxie, the company which owns B&B Hotels.

Hilton Rabat The Talk Of Morocco

The Hilton Rabat already has five stars but let us award it an honorary sixth star (a gold one) for coming top of the class in history; that is, in making history by being sold for the highest price seen in Morocco for a single hotel asset. Risma Holding paid National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels, of Abu Dhabi, Dh735 million (around US$89 million) for the 269-room property, which stands in the Moroccan capital Rabat. Reports suggest that the hotel will take the Sofitel brand from the start of 2009, a not unreasonable supposition given that Accor holds a stake of 32.5% (as at 30 June) in Risma.

Single Doubletree Planted To Commemorate Brand's European Debut

Builders in Italy are the first in Europe to hear Hilton Hotels Corporation’s (HHC) call to shovels and a command to dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the foundations of what will be Europe's first Doubletree by Hilton hotel. The seed from which the mighty 240-room Doubletree by Hilton Milan will grow germinated in a franchise agreement signed by HHC and Italian firm G&W Hotel Invest. In a month when ordinary trees will be shedding theirs, the leaves of the Doubletree will in the October of 2008 be fully unfurled. HHC announced last year that the upscale full service brand would be extending its reach beyond the Americas, where Doubletree has its name above the doors of more than 180 hotels.

Norgani Fortifies Its Position In Oslo

Norgani Hotels, the hotel property investor from Norway, now has a third hotel in the capital of its native land. The company has agreed to pay its compatriot Akershaven NKr128 million (€16.2 million) for the 99-room Clarion Collection Hotel Bastion, which remains under lease to Choice Hotels Scandinavia until 2015. Norgani’s other properties in Oslo are the Comfort Hotel Børsparken and the Scandic KNA.

Hospes Opens Its Seventh Hotel In Spain

Hospes Hotels & Moments would be delighted if you took a moment to consider what is its seventh hotel in its native Spain. The 38-room, five-star Hospes Villa Paulita is up in the Pyrenees, in the town of Puigcerdà. The company will descend to a lower altitude later this year to open its first hotel in Madrid – the five-star Hospes Madrid – but might still require oxygen as it embarks on a frenetic round of openings in 2008 and 2009 that will see the introduction of another four hotels in Spain. Hospes wants to have 30 hotels in Europe in ten years’ time. It already has the Hospes Lancaster in Paris; a five-star hotel is due to open in Budapest in 2009.

New Chief Executive Boards Orient-Express

Paul White has already spent 16 years with Orient-Express Hotels and he can look forward to extending his stay, this time from the comfort of the office reserved for the president and chief executive. Mr White, formerly the company’s chief financial officer, assumes his new role on 10 August. He succeeds Simon Sherwood, whose resignation was announced in February this year.

Turkmenistan Plans Tourist Project

The authorities in the republic of Turkmenistan are drawing up plans to invest a reported US$1 billion in the establishment of the Avaza tourist zone near the city of Türkmenbashi on the shores of the Caspian Sea. A number of Turkish companies are interested in the development, which could see as many as 60 top-quality hotels built alongside villas, health centres, sports facilities and shopping centres.

Palace Through The Looking-Glass

The Trianon Palace & Spa in Versailles, Paris, might perhaps call for a hall of mirrors so that it can admire itself after renovation work is finished in February 2008. The 192-room, five-star hotel is part of the Westin chain. Another hotel in the Starwood collection that will look a million dollars is the Sheraton Pretoria Hotel, which stands in the South African capital Pretoria. The property’s 175 rooms are sharing in an investment of a reported R10 million (US$1.5 million) as they undergo an extensive soft refurbishment.

An Analysis Of Rezidor's First-Half Performance

Kurt Ritter, the president and chief executive of Rezidor Hotel Group, felt that the company’s performance in the six months to 30 June 2007 was in line with or better than the overall market. He noted that he expects RevPAR to continue to grow during the remainder of 2007. RevPAR among the company’s leased and managed hotels certainly grew in the first half: up 7.8% (like for like) to €77.5. A profit after tax of €13.9 million was up by 34.9% on the previous year’s comparable. Revenue was 8.5% higher at €371.0 million.

First-Half Stats From NH Hoteles

NH Hoteles has reported its results for the six months to 30 June 2007. The Spanish company saw total EBITDA rise by 70.3%, to €142.3 million, and total revenue increase by 41.1%, to €717.4 million. Marketwide RevPAR grew by 4.4%, with a combination of the Spanish and Portuguese markets topping the individual market RevPAR table with growth of 7.8%.

European Hotel Finance & Investment Summit Nears

Oh yes, call The Churchill now to book your room; for you will want to insure that you do not miss a single moment of the European Hotel Finance & Investment Summit, which the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill is hosting on the 6th and 7th of September. Many distinguished speakers nodded their heads when asked if they would like to address the seventh in this annual series of conferences, which brings together hotel owners and operators, investors and financiers. Peep through a rear window and you will see the likes of Richard Hartman (managing director – EMEA, InterContinental Hotels Group) and Peter Anscomb (Royal Bank of Scotland) lining up alongside HVS’s very own Dominique Bourdais. Further details of the event may be obtained from the website www.euromoneyseminars.com.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 19-26 July 2007

Accor - JP Morgan kept its 'Neutral' rating but raised its target price from €62 to €75.

Whitbread - Fears about the credit market in the USA could mean that borrowing becomes more expensive. Thus, rumoured takeover targets like Whitbread might find potential bidders withdrawing.

InterContinental Hotels Group - As the FTSE-100 tumbled to a five-year low, IHG suffered from sentiments similar to those for Whitbread.

For the latest in the hospitality industry, please visit: http://www.hvs.com. You are also welcome to contact the following personnel at HVS International's London office.

Russell Kett, Managing Directorrkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, Managing Dir., HVS HWEchuman@hvshwe.com
Dominique Bourdais, Directordbourdais@hvs.com
Bernard Forster, Directorbforster@hvs.com
Karen Smith, Directorksmith@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Dir., Executive Searchcmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Dir. EMEA & Asia, HVS Shared Ownership Servicespbacon@hvs.com
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Authorajones@hvs.com