HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 30 May 2008

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

Russia's Mother Of All Hotel Chains (Potentially)

International Hotel Investments (IHI) and Intourist, the Russian tour operator and hotel company, are aiming to create the largest hotel chain in Russia. They have formed a shared investment fund that will be putting money into the development of four-star and five-star hotels in cities across the country. The fund has an initial US$100 million at its disposal. IHI and Intourist will jointly manage the hotels under brands including Corinthia and Intourist.

GE Real Estate Invited To Bring-A-Hotel Party

Capital France Hotel (CFH) is an investment fund that was set up last year by BNP Paribas and the Belgian firm Algonquin. The fund is managed by Algonquin’s French subsidiary Algonquin Asset Management France and it owns nine hotels across France that operate under the Radisson and Park Inn brands. The fund was valued at a reported €275 million. Sounds tempting. So little wonder then that GE Real Estate has decided to join the party, bringing with it two Parisian Mercure hotels and a Marriott in Cap d’Ail in exchange for cash and shares in CFH. GE’s contribution will help Algonquin fulfil its ambition of having €1 billion worth of assets across Europe under the fund’s management by the end of 2010.

Four Points For Libya, And A Sheraton Too

They have been born together, will grow up side by side and will open simultaneously: a potted guide to the formative years of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ first two hotels in Libya. A beach in the country’s capital Tripoli was the scene of the conception, following on from the signing of a management agreement by Starwood and Beroko Libya for Tourism Company. The 295-room Sheraton Tripoli and the 214-room Four Points by Sheraton Tripoli will open in early 2010 at the El Andalous mixed-use development.

Ghana Gains A Holiday Inn

The Holiday Inn Accra Airport has opened to become InterContinental Hotels Group's (IHG) first hotel in the West African republic of Ghana. The 168-room hotel stands next to Kotoka airport, which serves the Ghanaian capital Accra. IHG developed the hotel in partnership with the Royal Airport Hotel Party.

Rixos Hotels Tied Up At The Marina

At 350,000 m², Marina West will be the largest gated beachfront residential community in Bahrain by the time it is finished in the first quarter of 2010. Eleven towers will be dotted around the development and we now know that the first tower – Tower One – will be a luxurious hotel. Marina West Real Estate Development has signed up the Turkish firm Rixos Hotels to manage the Rixos Marina West Hotel, which is set to open in April 2010. The hotel will be Rixos Hotels' second in the Middle East; the first was the Rixos Ottoman Palace at The Palm, Jumeirah development in the emirate of Dubai.

Motel One Is The Chosen One At Vienna West Station

Motel One Central & East Europe, the joint venture formed by Motel One and Verkehrsbüro Group, has been chosen to build a budget hotel at the BahnhofCity Wien West development in Vienna, the capital of Austria. The 442-room, two-star Motel One property will open in winter 2011 simultaneously with the remainder of the mixed-use development at the Vienna West railway station.

Interval International Finds Göd; Hungarians Pleased

Interval International, the provider of vacation services, has added the five-star Pólus Palace Thermal Golf Club Hotel to its network. The two-year-old resort, which stands in the village of Göd, to the north of the Hungarian capital Budapest, has 16 timeshare units and amenities such as an 18-hole golf course and a spa. In 2010, or thereabouts, work is scheduled to start at the resort on the construction of a set of lakeside villas.

Kiessling's Corner

Cadena Hotelera Asturiana has bought Galpa SA, the owner and manager of the Luzana hotel in the centre of Aviles (Asturia). The establishment is a three-star hotel with 60 bedrooms that belongs to the Aurelio Fernandez Lopez family. Elsewhere, Hoteles y Gestion SA (HG Hoteles) has closed the transfer of its two-star aparthotel Club Valenta (53 apartments) in Puerto del Carmen (on the island of Lanzarote) to an independent manager who is selling large amounts of unit parts for residential use. By Gabrielle Kiessling, Analyst, HVS Madrid.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 22-29 May 2008

InterContinental Hotels Group - Merrill Lynch reiterated its 'Neutral' rating as IHG announced that it was changing its reporting currency to US dollars to reflect where it does most of its business.

NH Hoteles - The share price had been among the biggest climbers earlier in the week. The company reportedly announced that sales from its Italian units would be on a par with those in Spain.

Whitbread - ABN Amro has a 'Buy' rating, although this has come too late to affect the week's share price.

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 Director rkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, Managing Director – HVS HWE chuman@hvshwe.com
Hadrien Pujol, Director hpujol@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Director – HVS Dubai hchoufany@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Director – Executive Search cmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Services pbacon@hvs.com
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Author ajones@hvs.com