Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 8 July 2005
Hilton Group Puts 18 UK Hotels On The Market
Eurazeo In Talks To Buy Financière Galaxie
Argyll Townhouse Portfolio Up For Sale
Paris Gets The Spanish Vote
A Scandic Shortly To Arrive At Fiumicino Airport
UK Express Sale Will Do BDL Hotel Group Nicely
Lanidor Looks To Sew Up Its First Hotel
Leverguide Parks At St James's Club
Ionian Considers The Possible Sale Of The Hilton Rhodes Resort

Hilton Group Puts 18 UK Hotels On The Market
Hilton Group announced in February that it was looking to raise between £300 million and £400 million through asset disposal. At the time the company had a portfolio of 11 UK hotels on the market, which it sold the following month to Stardon UK for £111 million. Four months on and Hilton has again turned to its UK portfolio to provide the next batch for sale – a total of 18 hotels this time. Included in the offer are the Hilton London Gatwick and the Hilton London Olympia.

Eurazeo In Talks To Buy Financière Galaxie Return to Headlines
French investment firm Eurazeo has announced that it is holding exclusive talks with Duke Street Capital and the other shareholders in Financière Galaxie with a view to its taking a 100% holding in the company. Financière Galaxie owns the B&B chain, which with its 111 hotels in France is the third-largest operator in the country’s budget hotel sector. B&B also has eight hotels in Germany. Private equity firm Duke Street Capital, with the assistance of Bank of Scotland, paid close to a reported €200 million to acquire the company in summer 2003.

Argyll Townhouse Portfolio Up For Sale Return to Headlines
The Times reports that developer Artesian Property Partnership has put its Argyll Townhouse Hotels portfolio up for sale. The collection comprises three hotels in central London: The Royal Park, The Cranley and The Elizabeth. The newspaper notes that the three properties are expected to fetch a total of £30 million.

Paris Gets The Spanish Vote Return to Headlines
Grupo Majestic has left Spain for the first time and crossed the border into France to pay an undisclosed sum for the Hotel Montalembert in the capital Paris. The 56-room, four-star boutique property was sold by Westmont Hospitality and Goldman Sachs’ investment fund Whitehall. Grupo Majestic has two hotels in the Spanish city of Barcelona, and that is the destination of Confortel Hoteles, which is to open the 73-room, four-star Confortel Almirante there.

A Scandic Shortly To Arrive At Fiumicino Airport Return to Headlines
Representatives from the Italian press were present this week at Fiumicino Airport on the outskirts of Rome to witness the ceremonial laying of the first brick of what will become, in some 18 months’ time, a 280-room Scandic hotel. Italian real estate firm Icarus, which has the concession on the site, is meeting the reported €12 million cost of the project. The hotel is the second at the airport; the other is the Hilton Rome Airport. Meanwhile, from neighbouring Switzerland comes news that UBS has paid CM Clamai a reported €5.9 million for the Hotel Château Gütsch in the city of Lucerne. The same reports note that UBS has no great ambition to be a hotelkeeper and will be looking to sell the 31-room property on.

UK Express Sale Will Do BDL Hotel Group Nicely Return to Headlines
BDL Hotel Group has dipped into its bag of 14 UK Express by Holiday Inn hotels and drawn out the eight (922 rooms) that it wants to sell. The company will take a 30-year leaseback on the properties – in Newcastle upon Tyne, Bedford, Hemel Hempstead, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Newport (south Wales), Swansea and Droitwich – which have a total asking price of more than £84 million. BDL will be using the money to fund its further expansion in the UK's branded hotel market.

Lanidor Looks To Sew Up Its First Hotel Return to Headlines
Clothing manufacturer Lanidor is reported by the Portuguese press to have designs on a first hotel. The proposed LA Hotel would be built in the Portuguese capital Lisbon and could be open by 2007. Lanidor’s compatriot Teixeira Duarte might be wondering what to wear should it decide to extend its TD Hotéis chain into Algeria; the construction company is reportedly interested in acquiring an existing hotel or building one. TD Hotéis is already familiar with Africa – it has two hotels in both Angola and Mozambique in addition to the four it has in Portugal.

Leverguide Parks At St James's Club Return to Headlines
Leverguide announced its arrival in the hotel market earlier this year with the acquisition from Corus Hotels and Intermediate Capital Group of the Elmville portfolio of five UK hotels. Now the investment vehicle established by the two families behind Admiral Taverns has scored again (through its associated company Elanway) with the £20 million purchase of the privately owned St James’s Club in central London. The 56-bedroom former members club will be converted into a luxury hotel, and Leverguide is scouting for a suitable operator wanting to either manage or take a lease on it.

Ionian Considers The Possible Sale Of The Hilton Rhodes Resort Return to Headlines
The Greek press reports that hotel operator Ionian Hotel Enterprises is deciding whether to sell the Hilton Rhodes Resort. The 402-room hotel on the island of Rhodes is said to have a market value of some €60 million. If that is the sort of money that makes your head spin, then perhaps you should give it a while before you contemplate a stay at the 238-room Marmara Antalya in southern Turkey. One of the two buildings that form the property revolves – the 24 rooms within are part of the world’s first revolving hotel – but the other remains motionless.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 30/06/05-07/07/05

Sol Meliá - News that Deutsche Bank had taken a 5.6% stake in NH Hoteles caused brisk trading in Sol Meliá's shares amid market speculation about takeover possibilities.

Accor - UBS upgraded its rating from 'Neutral 2' to 'Buy 2' and raised its target price from €39 to €46. Colony Capital's recent investment in Accor has changed UBS's views on the hotelier.

Whitbread - Deutsche Bank raised its rating from 'Hold' to 'Buy', stating that having exited from its Marriott portfolio the company now 'wholly owns' more than 90% of its operating cash flows. This should improve the quality of its profits says Deutsche Bank.