HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 7 August 2009

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

Hyatt Considers Going Public

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has filed regulatory documents that could set in motion the company’s long-cherished plans for an initial public offering (IPO). Hyatt would be seeking to raise up to US$1.15 billion from a sale of shares, although it is not clear at present which of the shareholders might sell. The leading three shareholders are the Pritzker family (a stake of 85%), Goldman Sachs Group (7.5%) and Madrone Capital Partners (6.1%). Some of the proceeds raised from the IPO would be invested in new hotels.

Sol Meliá Sells The Meliá Madrid Princesa

Sol Meliá has sold the Meliá Madrid Princesa to BBVA Renting and has taken a 12-year leaseback on the 274-room hotel. The sale price of €87.8 million gave Sol Meliá a capital gain of €50.1 million. In addition, in 12 years’ time Sol Meliá will be granted preferential purchase rights over the hotel, which stands in the Spanish capital Madrid. BBVA Renting is part of the Spanish financial services group BBVA.

Pierre & Vacances Strikes A High-Altitude Deal

Pierre & Vacances has agreed to acquire, from Intrawest Hotels & Residences, the lodging and commercial operations of two resorts in the French Alps: Arc 1950 Resort and Flaine Montsoleil Resort. Pierre & Vacances, the French holiday services provider, will, under the terms of the agreement, operate both resorts to a four-star standard. Arc 1950 Resort has a total of 655 apartments with the Radisson and Intrawest Hotels & Residences brands. Flaine Montsoleil Resort has 138 apartments. The acquisition, for which no price was disclosed, is expected to complete on 1 October.

Traders Ready To Trade In Abu Dhabi

The Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri is Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ second hotel in Abu Dhabi, and is, like the Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, the product of a management agreement between Shangri-La and Al Jaber Group. The new hotel, which is part of the mixed-use Qaryat Al Beri development, has 301 rooms. Elsewhere in the Middle East, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) too is up for seconds: the opening of a second Holiday Inn hotel in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. The 178-room Holiday Inn Al Khobar-Corniche is the sixth Holiday Inn that IHG has opened in partnership with Al Hokair Group.

September Sees Sheraton Sail From Bilbao

On 15 September the Sheraton Bilbao Hotel, in the city of Bilbao, in northern Spain, will become the Meliá Bilbao. The transformation has been set in motion by the signing of a management agreement between Sol Meliá and the owner of the 211-room hotel Grupo Cosimet e Ybarra & Cia. Sol Meliá has also popped up in central and eastern Spain, signing an agreement to open the Tryp Los Ángeles in Getafe, on the outskirts of Madrid, and an agreement to manage the 262-room, four-star Hotel Urbem, in Valencia, under the Meliá brand.

The Rocco Forte Collection Tees Off In Sicily

The Verdura Golf & Spa Resort has opened on the island of Sicily and in so doing takes the laurels for being the first golf and spa resort in The Rocco Forte Collection. The resort occupies 230 hectares in the southwestern part of the island and has a total of 203 rooms and suites.

Raffles Hotels Appoints A New President

John Johnston will be sworn in as the new president of Raffles Hotels & Resorts on 10 August. Johnston is in his eleventh year with Fairmont Raffles Hotels International and he has in the past been responsible for the company’s development efforts in the Middle East. He succeeds Diana Ee-Tan in the office of president, she having stepped down in January this year.

Millennium & Copthorne Publishes Its Half-Year Figures

In the six months to 30 June 2009, Millennium & Copthorne saw its pre-tax profit fall by 47.8%, to £30.5 million, and its revenue fall by 6.7%, to £315.6 million. Marketwide RevPAR was down 5.6%, at £51.86. The company’s chairman Kwek Leng Beng was pleased with the overall operating performance in view of trading conditions in a first half that he described as “extremely difficult”. He added that the company was pleased by “encouraging” signs of some stability returning to its major markets.

Sol Meliá Reports Its First-Half Results

Sol Meliá senses that there might be a slight recovery in the resort hotel business in the third quarter of this year. Should this recovery materialise, then it will come as something of a relief to a company ravaged like so many by the trying economic times. In the first six months of 2009, Sol Meliá recorded EBITDA of €85.9 million, a fall of 30.9% on the previous year’s comparable figure, and a decline of 11.9% in revenues, which finished on €544.9 million. Marketwide RevPAR was down by 17.7%.

All Aboard The International Hotel Conference

The International Hotel Conference is still more than two months away. But make some simple preparations now and you’ll be laughing all the way to Venice. (Though you must check your chuckling before the conference starts: a cast of such distinguished speakers demands reverence.) Book your place before the end of August (see www.internationalhotelconference.com click here) and you can save €50 a night on the price of a single room at conference venue the Hilton Molino Stucky. And rock the boat with your mirth as you watch other travellers struggle out of Venice airport, while you glide from there to the venue in a free water taxi. The crew of HVS London will be mustered at the hotel under captain Russell Kett; he will be supported by the highly able Tim Smith, Gabi Baumann and Sophie Perret.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 30 July-6 August 2009

Sol Meliá - Natixis raised its target price from €2.5 to €5.0 and has a 'Reduce' rating.

Millennium & Copthorne - The share price rose on the company's positive outlook. Credit Suisse raised its rating from 'Underperform' to 'Neutral' and raised its target price from 183p to 310p.

Accor - Barclays Capital placed an 'Equal-weight' rating and raised its target price from €26.0 to €31.0.

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
Tim Smith, Director tsmith@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Managing 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