HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 10 August 2007

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

TVC Holdings Pays For Some Quality And A Bit Of Comfort

TVC Holdings has made its first investment since flotation on both the AIM and the IEX last month. The investment holding company led a consortium that included private clients of the stockbroker Davy in acquiring seven Quality hotels and four Comfort Inn properties (a combined total of more than 1,400 rooms) from Kasterlee for €41.5 million, a figure which rises to €46.5 million when development capital of €3 million and fees are added. Kasterlee trades under the name Choice Hotels Ireland. Pat McCann was another in the consortium and the former chief executive of Jurys Doyle Hotel Group will fulfil the same role with Dalata, the company that is to be set up to operate the hotels, all of which are in the Republic of Ireland. Mr McCann noted that the new company would be looking to extend its reach into the UK within the next two years.

Hilton Hotels Sells Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh

Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) has completed the sale of the Caledonian Hilton Edinburgh. A group of Israeli investors acting under the name The Caledonian Operating Company UK paid £51.7 million for the 251-room hotel in the Scottish capital. HHC will continue to manage the property, which was put on the market last October, under a long-term contract and the new owners will invest £13.5 million in the hotel, which occupies a Grade II listed building.

Italy Calls Hilton Garden Inn To Heel

Italy has the Hilton Garden Inn brand already nibbling at its ankle and now it finds another hotel of the brand snapping playfully at its heel. The Hilton Garden Inn Lecce, in the southeastern city of Lecce, is the fifth hotel of the brand in Italy and it is set to be completed by summer 2009. Hilton Hotels Corporation signed the franchise agreement with the owner and future operator of the 143-room property: the Italian firm Immobilnova.

Warimpex Reaches For The Sky Gate

Warimpex, the Austrian real estate developer and investment group, has completed its purchase of a stake of 99.98% in the Golden Tulip Sky Gate, a four-star hotel that stands near Henri Coandă international airport in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. Warimpex paid majority shareholder Romanian American Enterprise Fund and two other, unnamed, investors an undisclosed sum for the 108-room hotel. Vienna International is to take over the management and operation of the property, which, after expansion (with the addition of 50 rooms) and other redevelopment work, will take the name angelo Airporthotel Bucharest. The angelo brand has been present in Prague since June 2006 and it is set to arrive in 2008 in Munich, the Polish city of Katowice and the city of Plzeň in the Czech Republic.

IFA Hotels Enters Seychelles

IFA Hotels & Resorts is to team up with Indian Ocean Resorts to invest US$450 million in a mixed-use development that will cover all 480 acres of the island of Ste Anne in Seychelles. The finished product will take the name Zilwa, which translates as “islander” from the local language, and will include a five-star hotel, a variety of serviced residences and a marina.

Egypt And The Czech Republic: New Park Inn Places

The Park Inn brand: onwards it marches, its course this time taking it into two new countries. In Egypt, the brand’s boots will trample the 198-room Golden Resort by Rezidor, which will dust itself down in time to be reborn this November as the 401-room Park Inn Sharm el Sheikh Resort: the first resort in the Park Inn portfolio. From there the brand will march on the Czech Republic, arriving in early 2009 in the capital Prague before moving quickly on to the eastern city of Ostrava. The 209-room Park Inn Prague will occupy a historic building near Vyšehrad Castle, whereas the 186-room Park Inn Ostrava will content itself with views over the business park on which it will stand.

Marriott Executive Apartments Comes To Kazakhstan

The Marriott Executive Apartments brand is preparing to make its debut in Kazakhstan later this year. But the sixteenth set of serviced apartments in the world to wear the name will have no first night nerves, as it knows it will be among friends when it takes to the stage in the western city of Atyraū. Marriott International opened the Renaissance Atyrau Hotel there last year; indeed, the 202-room hotel stands only a few hundred metres from the mixed-use development of which the 160-unit Marriott Executive Apartments Atyrau will form a part. Marriott International signed the management agreement with CP Residential Atyrau, an affiliate of Capital Partners – the Kazakh company whose subsidiary CP Hotels Atyrau was the signatory of the management agreement for the Renaissance hotel.

M&C's Chief Executive Leaves

The announcement that Peter Papadimitropoulos had departed from the chief executive’s office cast something of a shadow across Millennium & Copthorne’s (M&C) interim figures. However, Mr Papas (as he is more conveniently known) can reflect that in the first six months of his reign of seven, the company recorded pre-tax profit of £55.2 million, an increase of 52.9% on the previous year’s comparable. Revenue for the six months to 30 June 2007 was up 3.1%, at £322.4 million. M&C’s portfolio of 112 hotels worldwide returned combined RevPAR of £50.70, an increase of 8.9%. The company’s outlook for the remainder of the year remains positive. Until a successor to Mr Papas is named, executive director Wong Hong Ren is assuming the role of interim chief executive.

Pure Urban Blue…

No, not the title of an adult film now no longer showing at a Travelodge near you, but the name of the developer – Pure Urban – and the colour of the exterior of the hotel it intends to build in the port of Hull, in eastern England. The 128-room property, costing a reported £10 million, will form part of the waterfront mixed-use development The Boom. Construction work is expected to start later this year and finish in late 2008.

Bannatyne Eyes Hastings For Resort

Duncan Bannatyne, the entrepreneur behind Bannatyne Hotels, which has two properties in the northeast of England, is focusing his attentions on a hotel he purchased recently on the south coast of the country. Reports indicate that Mr Bannatyne will be spending £10 million on turning the 25-room Beauport Park Hotel near Hastings, which he bought from Harvest Hotels for a reported £4 million, into a luxury resort complete with a spa and a nine-hole golf course.

Summit For Everyone

Unlike the many conferences that drain quickly through the sieve of the mind, the Hotel Finance and Investment Summit lodges in the mesh of fond memory like a nugget of gold. Attendance every year for the past six has informed prospectors that this event is a rich seam of knowledge to mine, so why not join them at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill from 6 September for two days of fresh digging. Dig Dominique Bourdais, a director at HVS’s London office, as he looks at “Tapping opportunities in Croatia and hot Eastern European markets”, our managing director Russell Kett as he moderates the keynote panel session on "Who is buying hotel risk?", and take your pick of a host of other distinguished speakers who will be addressing such questions as “The future for the condo hotel – is it a ticking time bomb?”. Quick, before you explode with excitement – log on to www.euromoneyseminars.com click here and put your name down.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 2-9 August 2007

InterContinental Hotels Group - The company's share price fell in common with the market as fears about the US sub-prime mortgage market resurfaced. However, Dresdner reiterated its 'Buy' rating and gave a target price of 1,500p.

Whitbread - The share price's slide was arrested somewhat by Panmure's 'Buy' rating and target price of 2,300p.

Millennium & Copthorne - Citigroup retained its 'Hold' rating, as the interim figures came in slightly above its expectations. Investors, however, expressed their disappointment at the departure of the company's chief executive.

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