Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 3 December 2004
Oranges Are The Only Fruit For NH Hoteles
BAA Lynton To Sell Two Airport Hotels
Marriott Sniffs Out Cologne And Catches The Scent Of Ghent
Prague Has Appeal For Mandarin
WestLB Sells Its Stake In TUI
Bourne To Run The Grosvenor House Apartments
Be Of Good Cheer, It's The Results From De Vere
Russian Miner Wants Major Hotel
Radisson SAS Enters Nigeria
€25 Million For Two Hotels? Put It On The Plastic
Look, It's Perfectly Simple: The Hotel Is Up For Sale

Oranges Are The Only Fruit For NH Hoteles
The Spanish city of Seville is set to enjoy a very happy new year thanks to NH Hoteles. In January the company will open the NH Convention Centre, which at more than 10,000 m² will be the city's largest, and two companion hotels: the 156-room, four-star NH Central Convenciones and the 96-room, three-star NH Central. NH Hoteles will manage the convention centre for the first few years and will thereafter operate it under a lease agreement. The company's fondness for the southwestern corner of Spain has extended to its Sotogrande resort, which has an early Christmas present in the shape of the 106-room, four-star NH Sotogrande. Its arrival meant that the hotel's sister property the NH Almenara could safely close to indulge in renovation work that will last until May next year.

BAA Lynton To Sell Two Airport Hotels Return to Headlines
BAA's commercial property development arm BAA Lynton has agreed to sell two of its airport hotels in the UK. The Blair Group has been cleared to approach the 340-room Jurys Inn Heathrow and it expects to complete a £16.3 million deal in the third quarter of 2004/05. Performing a victory roll in the skies over north Essex is Airport Hotels Partnership (AHP), which should complete the £24 million purchase of the head lease interest in the 500-room Radisson SAS Hotel London Stansted Airport in the fourth quarter of 2004/05. BAA has a 10% stake in AHP, which was established in March 2000 as a vehicle for new investors wishing to acquire stakes in some of BAA's hotel assets. AHP flew into Stansted in June to pay BAA Lynton £7.25 million for the ground lease interest in the Express by Holiday Inn.

Marriott Sniffs Out Cologne And Catches The Scent Of Ghent Return to Headlines
Marriott International has secured a date (2006) with the larger of two buildings that form the Johannishaus office complex in the German city of Cologne. Although the smaller building will have a makeover, it must be content to remain an office and look on as its sister is transformed into the Cologne Marriott. Marriott International will manage the 282-room hotel under an agreement reached with the private partnership Lange & Luhrmann Kalk-Karree. It is to be hoped that the hotel is not the jealous type, as it will have to watch its beloved nip over the border into Belgium that same year to open the Ghent Marriott Hotel. The property, on which Marriott has signed a franchise agreement with Belgian firm Granit Korenlei, will incorporate parts of four fifteenth-century townhouses in its construction. Interstate Hotels Company has been pencilled in as the operator of the 150-room hotel.

Prague Has Appeal For Mandarin Return to Headlines
The Czech capital Prague will become the fifth European city on the books of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in early 2006; that is the date set for the opening in the Malá Strana district of the city of the luxury 98-room Mandarin Oriental, Prague. Elsewhere in eastern Europe, Mr Raafat Sarieddine's newly built 88-room hotel in the Romanian capital will open in September 2005 as the Tulip Inn Bucharest under a franchise agreement he has signed with Golden Tulip Hotels. The property will complement the 83-room Golden Tulip Bucharest, which is due to open in January. For its part, the Croatian capital Zagreb has played host to Rezidor SAS Hospitality, which was in the city last month to officially open the 207-room The Regent Esplanade Zagreb.

WestLB Sells Its Stake In TUI Return to Headlines
German bank WestLB has sold its 31.3% stake in tourism group TUI to Deutsche Bank in a deal that some reports value at €950 million. WestLB noted that Deutsche Bank would be placing some of the shares on the market and the remainder with strategic investors. Though neither bank named any such investors, most reports agree that a consortium of Spanish companies – Riu Hotels & Resorts, its fellow hotel company Grupo de Empresas Matutes, and savings bank Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo – has acquired a 17.3% chunk of Deutsche Bank's stake for a reported €547.25 million.

Bourne To Run The Grosvenor House Apartments Return to Headlines
The Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed to sell The Grosvenor House Apartments to Bourne Capital for close to £100 million. The block of 140 serviced apartments, which stands to the rear of the Grosvenor House Hotel in London's West End, will undergo an extensive refurbishment under the watchful eye of Philip Van Reyk. The building is due to reopen in 2007 as an aparthotel/luxury serviced apartments. The deal has no effect on the Royal Bank of Scotland's ownership of the Grosvenor House Hotel, which is itself currently in the midst of a refurbishment that is readying the 498-room property for its rebirth in 2007 as The Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel.

Be Of Good Cheer, It's The Results From De Vere Return to Headlines
De Vere Group reflected the strengthening of the UK hotel market over the past year with a suitably muscular set of results for its financial year ending 26 September 2004. Group pre-tax profit rose 14.7% to £45.6 million and group turnover climbed 3.1% to finish on £321.8 million. The operating profit of £36.9 million returned by the portfolio of 21 De Vere Hotels was an improvement of 5.8% on the previous year's comparable. Like-for-like RevPAR rose by 2.4%, to £63.44. The 13-strong Village Hotels & Leisure Clubs portfolio returned an operating profit of £15.8 million, a rise of 1.2%, and posted a 7.2% increase in like-for-like RevPAR. De Vere Group wants to have more than 50 Village hotels in the UK eventually, and aims to achieve this by opening properties at the rate of four or five a year from 2006/07 onwards.

Russian Miner Wants Major Hotel Return to Headlines
Any deposits of copper that French construction firm Bouygues Batiment might turn up as it digs the foundations will be a bonus, but mining company UGMK, Russia's second-biggest producer of that metal, will be more interested on this occasion in the lustre of a luxury hotel that is set to start its rise next spring in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. The 250-room hotel, which is expected to cost more than US$100 million to build, is due to open in 2007. Some reports suggest that UGMK may invite Hyatt International in as the manager. The Urals afford a good view of the city of Nizhni Novgorod, which has seen Russian company Vika unveil its Alexandrovsky Sad mixed-use complex. The US$8 million development includes a 49-room, four-star hotel.

Radisson SAS Enters Nigeria Return to Headlines
Rezidor SAS Hospitality has made its first trip to the west African republic of Nigeria and there signed a management agreement on the Radisson SAS Hotel, Lagos. The 150-room property is due to open later next year. Rezidor could have no better role model in Africa than South Africa's Protea Hotels, which is the continent's leading hotel group. Early next year the company will journey for a second time to the east central state of Malawi, on this occasion to build the 120-room Protea Hotel Lilongwe.

€25 Million For Two Hotels? Put It On The Plastic Return to Headlines
If reports from Portugal are correct and native firm Logoplaste is indeed to partner Ocean Islands in a €25 million investment in the construction of two four-star hotels in Lisbon, then there should be no excuse for the hotels' not being presented nicely wrapped. The plastics company's intentions are that the properties will offer a total of between 80 and 120 rooms. In neighbouring Spain, any shrink-wrap still adhering to the €50 million Dolce Sitges will have been dutifully peeled away by Mayor Jordi Baijet. Underneath is a shiny new 263-room property that is Dolce International's first conference and resort destination in the country. Spanish chain Barceló Hotels & Resorts will be ripping the cellophane from its copy of the management contract on the 249-room, five-star Barceló Eresin Topkapi Istanbul, which is set to open in the Turkish city of Istanbul later this month.

Look, It's Perfectly Simple: The Hotel Is Up For Sale Return to Headlines
Down in Devon in southwest England Miss Tibbs and Miss Gatsby have something new to gossip about. The three-star Hotel Gleneagles in Torquay, whose sometime owner, the late Donald Sinclair, was the model for Basil Fawlty in the TV comedy series Fawlty Towers, is up for sale with an asking price of £1.5 million. Prospective purchasers are reminded that none of the 41 rooms is likely to have a view of Sydney Opera House or herds of wildebeest.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 25/11/04-02/12/04

Whitbread - Goldman Sachs reiterated its 'Outperform' rating.

De Vere Group - CSFB raised its target price from 450p to 480p on news of De Vere's full year results. Goldman Sachs kept its 'In-Line' rating and Williams de Broe its 'Hold' rating.

Hilton Group - Seymour Pierce placed a 'Buy' rating on the stock. The shares though had tumbled earlier in the week on concerns about a possible squeeze on profits at bookmakers William Hill.