HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 7 September 2007

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

Prem Group Goes Cross-Channel Shopping

Prem Group, the Irish hotel management company, has enhanced its portfolio of properties in Belgium and taken its first step into France after acquiring nine hotels in a joint venture (the European Hotel Consortium) with stockbrokers Goodbody. The new arrivals in Belgium include hotels with the Holiday Inn, Express by Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands in the cities of Hasselt, Antwerp, Ghent, Mechelen and Ostend. The solitary French property is the Holiday Inn Calais. HVS Hodges Ward Elliott acted for the seller of the portfolio.

Six Sides To Sharma

Fortunately for Wyndham Hotel Group, the “Ramada Triangle” is nowhere near as sinister as its Bermudan counterpart. Shiv Sharma has not disappeared from view, content with his Ramada hotels in Wolverhampton, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Warwick (where he has rebranded the Quality Hotel he bought in March). He has popped up again in central England to transform the Ramada Triangle into the “Wyndham Hexagon”. This has required Sharma to explore new corners of the Wyndham portfolio: work to construct a Days Inn in Birmingham and a Days Hotel in Wolverhampton will begin early next year. The new shape is completed by a Ramada hotel that is already under construction in Oldbury, on the outskirts of Birmingham.

Marriott To Rebrand Hotel Le Parc A Renaissance

The Renaissance brand will be on its way to Paris for a third visit two years from now. Two years is the time that Marriott International has set aside for the extensive renovation of the 116-room Hotel Le Parc – Trocadero Paris, which will be reborn as the Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero Paris Hotel. Marriott International signed a management agreement on the Hotel Le Parc, which will remain open throughout the renovation, with Strategic Hotels & Resorts.

Catella Has A Fund With A Focus

Catella Real Estate, a German investment company, has launched Focus Nordic Cities. As its name suggests, this open-ended fund is ready to invest in real estate in Scandinavia and in other countries with a shoreline on the Baltic. The fund has already acquired two hotels in Norway – one in Stavanger and the other in Kristiansand – that have a total value of €65 million.

Château Gütsch Finds A Russian Owner

UBS revealed in July 2005 when it acquired the Hotel Château Gütsch that the 31-room property, which sits on a hill above the Swiss city of Lucerne, would not be on its hands for long. A touch over two years as it turns out. The Swiss bank has sold the hotel and its accompanying funicular railway for an undisclosed sum to Russian investment group National Reserve Corporation. NRC has plans to reopen the property next year as a luxury hotel and restaurant.

Malia Reaches Out To Iraq

The Lebanese conglomerate Malia Holding has teamed up with Rotana Hotels to bring a first five-star hotel to the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. The 205-room Erbil Rotana Hotel, in the city of Erbil, will absorb an investment of more than US$55 million and will be owned by Hotel Line, a subsidiary of Malia Holding. The hotel is set to open in October 2009.

Norgani Buys Radisson SAS In Linköping

Scandic, Quality, First and now Radisson SAS: that's quite a hand that Norgani Hotels holds in Linköping, in southern Sweden. To take the Radisson card from dealer Stora Hotellet i Linköping, Norgani, the Norwegian hotel property company, had to put SKr103.3 million (€11.0 million) into the pot. The company left the table hand in hand with Rezidor Hotel Group, the two having cut a deal on a 15-year turnover-based lease agreement that comes into effect when Norgani takes over the 91-room hotel on 1 October.

Sheraton Comes To Latvia

Up until last week had you asked a citizen of Riga what a Sheraton was then a baffled shrug of the shoulders would have been your reply. Venture out this week with the same question and you are certain to have your microphone wrestled from your grasp as citizens of the Latvian capital vie to be the first to tell you all about the 312-room Sheraton Riga Hotel that is set to open in early 2010. They will point to the Z-Towers mixed-use development and say (and with more than a little pride, for this hotel is the first Sheraton in all of Latvia) that the newcomer is 24 storeys high and is owned by SIA Z-Towers. Up until this week life as a counter of Ibis hotels in the Hungarian capital Budapest was a bit samey; the total as always was four. So imagine how bucked the tallyman was when he came home having counted five. He had found that the Hotel Liget had emerged from its renovation and had become the 139-room Ibis Budapest Heroes Square.

Golden Tulip Reaches 80 In The Netherlands

Golden Tulip Hospitality (GTH) has reached the milestone of 80 hotels in the Netherlands. The property that had the honour of being number 80 was the 76-room Golden Tulip Papendrecht, which arrived on 1 September on the back of a franchise agreement signed with Hotel & Exploitatie Maatschappij Papendrecht. GTH has given the Tulip Inn franchise some exercise too. AC Restaurants & Hotels is the name on both agreements; they cover two 64-room hotels: the Tulip Inn Sevenum, which will undertake renovation work from October, and the Tulip Inn Bodegraven.

Crerar Hotels Buys Two Hotels In Scotland

Crerar Hotels has taken to eight the number of properties it currently has in its native Scotland. The company paid Roy and Garry Dinnes an undisclosed sum for the 53-room, three-star Eight Acres Hotel. Crerar has plans to add 25 bedrooms to the property, which stands on the outskirts of Elgin. The company's other purchase is but a marble's throw from Elgin. Grantown-on-Spey is home to the 80-room, three-star Craiglynne Hotel, which was parted from London & Edinburgh Inns for an undisclosed sum. The property will be refurbished and it will join the Swallow Hotels chain.

Starwood Gets Paasschen In The Boardroom

Starwood Hotels & Resorts will certainly expect the celebratory beers to be on its new chief executive. For Frits van Paasschen, who takes up his new position on 24 September, is the former president and chief executive of Coors Brewing Company. Van Paasschen succeeds Bruce Duncan, the chairman of Starwood, who took on the additional role of interim chief executive after the departure in April of Steven Heyer.

International Hotel Conference: The Showcase Event

Russell Kett, come on down! Stephen Rushmore, come on down! The rest of the audience…for goodness' sake stay where you are and listen as the respective managing director of HVS's London office and the president of HVS lend their voices to one of the greatest shows: the International Hotel Conference. The price of the ticket is surely right for any event offering 100 distinguished speakers in the setting of the Rome Cavalieri Hilton. Stop the wheel of fortune in your favour with a resounding click: click here.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 30 August-6 September 2007

Whitbread - Evolution Securities raised its target price from 1,800p to 1,960p, predicting growth in the Costa and Premier Travel Inn chains.

Accor - The share price rose earlier on in the week as Deutsche Bank retained its 'Buy' rating and raised its target price from €77 to €82.

NH Hoteles - The Ibex-35 index suffered a general fall over renewed fears over the credit and mortgage markets.

For the latest in the hospitality industry, please visit: http://www.hvs.com. You are also welcome to contact the following personnel.

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
Marc Finney, Directormfinney@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