Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 17 June 2005
Blackstone Set To Win Wyndham
Brussels: A Popular Destination This Month
Capona Prepares To Sell 30 Hotels
Syracuse Sires Second Scandic by Hilton
Whitbread Issues A Trading Update
One, Two, Three Kempinski
Here Comes The Sungate Port Royal
New Shareholders Reportedly Given Clearance On The Clarence
Plenty Of Activity In The Netherlands
A Sixth Property Joins QHotels
The Story Of 'O'

Blackstone Set To Win Wyndham
Wyndham International kept the hotel world enthralled for much of 2001 with takeover talk. The late Six Continents’ efforts eventually proved in vain, but four years on Wyndham is once more making the headlines, and this time a happy ending is in sight. Wyndham’s intended is The Blackstone Group, which has agreed to make a cash payment of US$1.15 per share for all of the Dallas-based hotel company’s outstanding common stock; this price values Wyndham International at around US$3.24 billion. The proposed deal, which is subject to shareholder approval and other necessary consents, is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Brussels: A Popular Destination This Month Return to Headlines
Warwick International Hotels has booked itself into a second hotel in the Belgian capital Brussels. The 99-room former Hyatt Regency Barsey Hotel, which will be renamed The Warwick Brussels Hotel, will be a companion for The Royal Windsor Brussels Hotel. The city has also proved attractive to native real estate and private equity firm the Atenor Group, which has paid InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) an undisclosed sum for IHG’s entire stake in Brussels Europa, the owner of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Brussels Europa. Atenor noted that it would at some point study its options in regard to the 240-room property, which will keep its Crowne Plaza franchise for the time being.

Capona Prepares To Sell 30 Hotels Return to Headlines
Two newly formed Norwegian companies are the beneficiaries of Capona’s decision to sell 30 hotels from its Scandinavian portfolio. First up to receive its prize is Hotelleiendom, which is to pay some 1.35 billion Swedish kronor for 16 Scandic hotels (2,909 rooms) that are to be found in 16 separate locations across Sweden. None of the 16 should need to send Capona a postcard, though, for the Swedish hotel property company intends to purchase a majority 30% holding in Hotelleiendom. The second beneficiary – ESO Invest I – will have Capona as a shareholder too, the stake here being some 6%. ESO will pay some 1.3 billion Swedish kronor for 14 hotels (2,164 rooms) of assorted brands (the mix includes five Scandic hotels and four with the Quality brand) in a choice of four tempting countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

Syracuse Sires Second Scandic by Hilton Return to Headlines
When the 88-room Scandic by Hilton Bari opened this February in southeastern Italy it made history as the first property outside the Nordic region with a Scandic franchise. And Italy has struck lucky again. The 82-room Scandic by Hilton Siracusa, which will be operated by Euro Costruzioni, is now open in the Sicilian port of Syracuse. Busy times these for Euro Costruzioni on the island of Sicily; it is currently building the Hilton Portorosa, which is due to open at the start of next year.

Whitbread Issues A Trading Update Return to Headlines
If there are any private equity firms still circling in the skies over Whitbread, then their eagle eyes will have this week spotted the flash of the company’s latest trading update. And what they read is likely to have provoked joyful cries intermingled with the odd squawk of dismay. Over the 13 weeks to 2 June 2005, the Travel Inn hotels posted like-for-like sales growth of 8.2% as their contribution to group like-for-like sales growth of 1.0%. The figures from the pub restaurants and the high street restaurants were less appetising, both chains recording a decline in sales, of 1.0% and 0.1%, respectively.

One, Two, Three Kempinski Return to Headlines
Kempinski Hotels and Plazapain have signed an agreement that has given Kempinski the right to co-manage with Atlantis Hotels & Resorts the Kempinski Hotel Atlantis Bahía Real. The 250-room, five-star hotel on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands will have a companion from 2007 onwards in the shape of the Kempinski Hotel Atlantis Miranda Real. Kempinski also announced the reopening after extensive renovation work of the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz on the Mediterranean island of Gozo. The work added 61 residences, and the hotel now has 122 rooms, including 48 suites.

Here Comes The Sungate Port Royal Return to Headlines
The newly opened Sungate Port Royal claims for itself the title of largest holiday and entertainment complex in Turkey and the Mediterranean, covering as it does 250,000 m² of land in the resort of Beldibi in southern Turkey. The Port Queen Hotel supplies 583 rooms to the total of more than 1,000 available in various types of accommodation. There will be no kicking sand in the face of the Rixos Hotel Premium Belek either, even though there is plenty available on the 769-room hotel’s 650-metre stretch of private beach. Elsewhere in the region, the resort of Gouviá on the Greek island of Corfu is set to receive a 70-room designer hotel thanks to a group of investors who have a reported €30 million to spend.

New Shareholders Reportedly Given Clearance On The Clarence Return to Headlines
Reports in the Irish press suggest that Derek Quinlan and property developer Paddy McKillen have between them taken a 50% holding in The Clarence, the hotel in Dublin famous for being owned by rock group U2. Quinlan, who rose to fame himself as the frontman of Quinlan Private, purchaser last year of The Savoy Group, and McKillen bought out the 20% stake held by Harry Crosbie and a portion of the shares held by members of U2. Another transaction in Dublin this week saw Hugh Curran pay travel agency USIT more than a reported €7 million for the 53-room Harding Hotel.

Plenty Of Activity In The Netherlands Return to Headlines
Work is reportedly underway in the Netherlands on the construction of what would be a fifteenth hotel in the country for native chain Amrâth Hôtels & Restaurants. The Grand Hotel Frans Hals, which will have around 90 rooms, is due to open in the western city of Haarlem in autumn 2006. Over in the east, meanwhile, the family that owns the Groot Engelenburg estate in the town of Brummen wants to extend the hotel there (the hotel occupies part of a castle) from 30 rooms to between 50 and 100 rooms. Those who prefer their hotel action to involve oil and leather should head north to the city of Assen, where a group of investors is ready to invest a reported €120 million in the construction of TT World, an amusement park that will be built at the TT Circuit Assen motor sports venue. The park, which should be ready by 2007, is set to feature a luxury hotel.

A Sixth Property Joins QHotels Return to Headlines
Showing remarkable maturity for a two-year-old, QHotels (nee Quintessential Hotels) can already count up to six properties in its UK portfolio. The latest addition is Forest Pines, a four-star golf and country club hotel that stands near Brigg, in North Lincolnshire. QHotels did not reveal how much it paid the Middleton family for the 114-room property, but it did disclose that it plans to extend the hotel’s conference facilities and refurbish the bedrooms.

The Story Of 'O' Return to Headlines
When Dr Cem Kinay split last autumn from Magic Life, the group he co-founded in 1990, the press predicted that he would go on to have a successful solo career. Those predictions would appear to be accurate. Turning to the alphabet for inspiration in much the same way that Starwood Hotels once did to produce its smash-hit W, Dr Kinay has selected the letter O as the name for his proposed chain of luxury hotels. Reports suggest that the first hotel could be open as early as next year, with the chain’s target countries said to include Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 09/06/05-16/06/05

NH Hoteles - The Spanish press noted fresh rumours that NH Hoteles might make a bid for its compatriot Occidental Hotels.

Whitbread - The group's sales figures came in ahead of the expectations of Deutsche Bank, which has a 'Hold' rating. Merrill Lynch raised its rating from 'Neutral' to 'Buy' and set a target price of 1,070p.

Hilton Group - Citigroup has a 'Buy' rating and a target price of 305p.