Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 5 November 2004
Saints March Into Greece And Italy
Swallow Hopes To Make It To Scotland By Christmas
Clerkenwell Ventures Limbers Up
M&C Doubles Its Profit In The Third Quarter
Jumeirah International Opens The Gate Of The Sun
Ireland's Mount Falcon To Get A New Wing
Zebra Earns Its Stripes In Bulgaria
The Square Mile Becomes Contemporary
Long-Legged Italy Tempts Scandic Into Playing Away From Home
Iberostar The Star In Montenegro
Buyers Who Are Also Water Diviners May Have A Slight Advantage

Saints March Into Greece And Italy
Kempinski Hotels & Resorts will be embarking on an odyssey to the Greek island of Mykonos next Easter to awaken a de luxe resort from its winter slumber. The 145-room property on Aghios Ioannis Beach will open its eyes to see the name Kempinski Resort Saint John writ large above its entrance. Of course, one cannot have John without Paul – and Spanish chain Hotusa Hoteles helps out here. Rome is where its heart is, the company having recently opened the 60-room, four-star Hotel Saint Paul in the Italian capital. São Julião do Tojal, the town with the saintly name to the north of the Portuguese capital Lisbon, is reportedly set to see work begin next year on the transformation of the Quinta da Abelheira palace into a 105-room, de luxe four-star hotel.

Swallow Hopes To Make It To Scotland By Christmas Return to Headlines
Swallow Hotels could find itself unwrapping three new four-star hotels in Scotland this Christmas. The company is said to be in advanced discussions with Morton Hotels about two properties in Nairn – the 56-room Newton Hotel and the 42-room Golf View Hotel & Leisure Club – and one in Dornoch: the 25-room Royal Golf Hotel. In northeast England the talk around the Dexter family's dinner table this Christmas will centre on the family's acquisition of the Park Hotel in Redcar. Uncle Malcolm McKee will be full of cheer; he sold the 33-room property to his nephew for £1.1 million. Perhaps the manager of the local branch of NatWest might be invited to take an extra helping of turkey; the bank funded the deal.

Clerkenwell Ventures Limbers Up Return to Headlines
Clerkenwell Ventures has floated on the Alternative Investment Market and by placing some 55.7 million shares the company has raised £3.9 million. The contributions to this total made by investors give the company at least £4.35 million to put towards the acquisition of established businesses in the leisure sector, especially those that have the potential to be expanded through organic growth and/or acquisition. The Financial Times reports that Clerkenwell Ventures' first foray could take it into the world of health clubs; other reports suggest that the purchase of hotel management contracts might be a possibility too. Those reports agree on one thing, though: that the company will not be looking at restaurants for the moment. After all, Clerkenwell Ventures' non-executive Chairman David Page and one of its non-executive directors Paul Campbell are the current Chairman and Chief Executive, respectively, of the Clapham House Group restaurants business.

M&C Doubles Its Profit In The Third Quarter Return to Headlines
Millennium & Copthorne's (M&C) pre-tax profit of £13.3 million for the three months to 30 September 2004 was twice what the company made over the same period a year ago. Group turnover rose by 0.1%, to £134.8 million, and marketwide RevPAR improved by 11.5% to finish on £43.20. The latter continued to grow through the month of October too, treating the company by Halloween to the news that it was 9.0% ahead of the figure recorded for October 2003. Although M&C recently completed the £370 million sale of The Plaza hotel in New York, the company's Chairman Kwek Leng Beng said that the company's strategy of being an owner of hotel assets remained unchanged.

Jumeirah International Opens The Gate Of The Sun Return to Headlines
Jumeirah International has this week been on the road that leads into the heart of the desert in the emirate of Dubai. Journey's end for the company was the luxury 115-room Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, which has been soft opened to become the company's sixth hotel in Dubai. Six is the number of hotels that will reportedly feature in the January sales in Algeria. The portfolio of properties, which is managed by the state-owned Entreprise de Gestion Touristique Ouest, includes the Grand Hotel in the northwestern port of Oran.

Ireland's Mount Falcon To Get A New Wing Return to Headlines
The Irish Times reports that the four brothers Maloney are ready to embark on a scheme costing €23 million to redevelop the Mount Falcon Castle hotel. The castle, which stands to the south of Ballina in Co. Mayo, will receive a 26-room extension and see its 100 acres of grounds dotted with 46 new homes. Meanwhile, in the southwest of Ireland Lee Hotels has sold the Kenmare Bay Hotel to hotelier Robert Lyne for close to a reported €7 million. Mr Lyne is reportedly ready to spend an additional €10 million on bringing extra facilities to the 136-room property in Kenmare, Co. Kerry.

Zebra Earns Its Stripes In Bulgaria Return to Headlines
Bulgarian company Zebra has taken time out from its more usual occupation of repairing military hardware to open a 100-bed, four-star hotel in the Black Sea resort of Tsarevo. In the Czech Republic, state-owned company Lesy České Republiky is associated with forestry but at the start of the year chose to take its axe to the Diana Hotel. The company is reportedly close to concluding the sale of the 55-room, three-star property in the northern resort of Velké Losiny. The Russian Fund of Federal Property deals not in trees but in stakes. Prospective purchasers who would like to take a 51% holding in the Sheremetyevo-2 Hotel in Moscow should submit their bids by 25 November; the opening price is set at a reported US$4.1 million.

The Square Mile Becomes Contemporary Return to Headlines
Contemporary Hotels is reported to have been given planning permission to convert a former bank on Great Winchester Street in the City of London into a 75-room hotel. The property is set to open in spring 2006, by which time the company, which has the financial backing of HBOS, could have a second property in the capital. Contemporary hopes to have secured the purchase of a hotel in the West End by the end of 2004. The company came into being in March this year with the acquisition of two hotels in the UK provinces, and Chairman Ambar Paul wants to supplement these hotels with perhaps as many as eight others. According to reports, once the UK hotels are established the chairman will lead the company into France, Italy and an unnamed country in eastern Europe from 2007 onwards.

Long-Legged Italy Tempts Scandic Into Playing Away From Home Return to Headlines
In March this year Hilton International offered interested parties the chance to take a franchise on the Hilton or Scandic brand. By the end of November hotel group DE.GE.CO. will have made Italy famous as the first country outside the Nordic region to have a hotel with the Scandic franchise. The 88-room Scandic Bari in the southeast of the country will be marketed as Scandic by Hilton. Choice Hotels International knows all about franchising, and it has chosen Spain to take its latest hotels. The 55-room Meson Del Cid Hotel in the northern city of Burgos will become the Quality Meson Del Cid, while the western city of Salamanca will welcome the 75-room Comfort Hotel Emperatriz III.

Iberostar The Star In Montenegro Return to Headlines
The Ministry of Tourism in Montenegro has revealed that Spanish hotelier Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has been the first international chain to enter the country. The company is reportedly set to invest €5 million in 2004/05 in the renovation of 227 rooms at the Bellevue hotel complex in the coastal town of Bečići. By 2008 Iberostar is expected to have spent an additional €26 million on further renovation work and the acquisition of three hotels. The government is keen to encourage growth in the tourist industry, and one of its principal aims is the development over the next ten years of hotels ranging in status from three-star to five-star that can bring some 30,000 beds to the 13-kilometre Velika Plaza beach in the vicinity of Ulcinj.

Buyers Who Are Also Water Diviners May Have A Slight Advantage Return to Headlines
Martyn Harrison, who is the Chief Executive of non-league Weymouth FC, has put two hotels in the team's home town on the south coast of England on the transfer list. The two hotels operate up the front – the seafront. The 70-room Best Western Hotel Prince Regent is available for £3.5 million and the 100-room Russell Hotel for £2.5 million. Von Essen Hotels quite enjoys spa water, although on this occasion it has stopped six miles short of the city of Bath in the village of Hinton Charterhouse. The 19-room Homewood Park hotel has joined the Country Set for an undisclosed sum. Prospective purchasers who enjoy river water should head to Hungerford in Berkshire, where the River Dunn flows past the 41-room Ramada Bear, which is up for sale with an asking price of around £3 million.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 28/10/04-04/11/04

Hilton Group - The share price remained buoyant amid the continued expectation surrounding the Gaming Bill.

Sol Meliá - UBS retained its 'Reduce 2' rating ahead of the Spanish firm's nine-month results, due next week.

Millennium & Copthorne - The results met the expectations of Deutsche Bank, which kept a 'Hold' rating, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. However, Morgan Stanley kept an 'Underweight' rating on lack of news of any significant, additional asset disposals, while Merrill Lynch kept its 'Sell' rating, feeling that the stock is the most expensive in the sector.