Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 18 November 2005
Host Marriott To Host Starwood
Somerston Relieves BDL Of Express By Holiday Inns
Hotel Missoni Possible, Thanks To Rezidor SAS
Crowe Flies Plans For Express By Holiday Inn In Dublin
Domina To Develop In Bahrain
Vale do Lobo Interested In Creating An Island Off The Algarve
Marylebone Warwick Balfour Sells The Radisson SAS Hotel In Glasgow
A Four-Month Trading Update From Hilton Group
A New Owner Anchored In Ankara
Britvic Makes Plans To Float

Host Marriott To Host Starwood
Host Marriott Corporation is to pay Starwood Hotels & Resorts close to US$4.1 billion in a mixture of shares and cash for 38 hotels having a total of 18,964 rooms. The sale price includes debt of some US$704 million. The deal is expected to close by the end of March 2006, and once it has closed Host Marriott will change its name to Host Hotels and Resorts. Starwood intends to continue managing the properties, which come in a mix of brands – Sheraton and Westin predominate – and a variety of locations. Host Marriott will take its first step into Europe at the helm of six hotels (2,215 rooms): three in Italy – the Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center, in Rome, the Westin Palace Milan, and the Westin Europa & Regina, in Venice – and one in each of the capitals of Spain, Poland and the UK: the Westin Palace Madrid, the Sheraton Warsaw Hotel & Towers, and the Sheraton Skyline Hotel & Conference Centre.

Somerston Relieves BDL Of Express By Holiday Inns Return to Headlines
July found BDL Hotel Group on its way to market with a plan to sell and lease back eight of its 14 Express by Holiday Inn (EHI) hotels in the UK. It had been walking for a few weeks when it met fellow InterContinental Hotels Group franchisee Somerston Hotels, which has 16 Express by Holiday Inn hotels in the UK. As a result of the meeting, BDL returned home with some beans (£115 million, according to one report) in its pocket. For Somerston had dissuaded BDL from pursuing its original course and suggested instead that the two companies should merge their EHI portfolios. The deal will see Somerston Hotels take over the management of BDL’s 16 EHI hotels (BDL has another two hotels under construction, one in Leeds and the other in Doncaster) to become the leading franchisee of the Express by Holiday Inn brand in the UK.

Hotel Missoni Possible, Thanks To Rezidor SAS Return to Headlines
Reports suggest that Rezidor SAS Hospitality and Italian fashion house Missoni are to open lifestyle hotels together under the brand name Hotel Missoni. The pair aim to open their first three hotels in 2007 and to follow these with another 30 by 2010. Rezidor SAS is particularly keen that the hotels should be either new-builds or converted buildings, in order that the brand name should not be compromised. The locations of the first three hotels will be known once deals have been finalised.

Crowe Flies Plans For Express By Holiday Inn In Dublin Return to Headlines
The Irish Times reports that Aidan Crowe and Gerry Houlihan, the owners of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Dublin Airport, want to build a hotel and conference centre next to the 204-room property. A 114-room Express by Holiday Inn and the conference facility would be operational from next July and cost a total of a reported €30 million. A few months before then, Starwood Hotels & Resorts should have opened its second hotel in the Republic of Ireland: the 133-room, five-star Sheraton Fota Island Golf Resort & Spa, Cork. Perhaps Jack Nicklaus might visit to play a few holes, if he can spare any time away from redesigning two courses at the St Patrick’s links in Donegal. The consortium of which he is part will be garnishing the courses with a 96-room, five-star hotel.

Domina To Develop In Bahrain Return to Headlines
Italy’s Domina Hotel Group is set to make its debut in Bahrain in March 2007. That is the date scheduled for the opening near the country’s capital Manama of the 340-room Domina Bahrain Hotel & Towers, which is to be built by Al Hamad Construction & Development Co. Domina and Al Hamad are likely to work together on other projects in the future.

Vale do Lobo Interested In Creating An Island Off The Algarve Return to Headlines
The Vale do Lobo group, which owns the eponymous luxury resort on the Algarve in Portugal, is apparently keen to mimic at least one of the man-made islands being developed off the coast of Dubai. A report suggests that an island bearing hotels and other real estate could rise from the seas opposite the resort in a €750 million project. Altis Hotels should have no need to consult tide times before it embarks on the construction of two five-star hotels in the Portuguese capital Lisbon. An investment of a reported €75 million will result in the arrival of the 44-room Altis Belém in 2007 and the 270-room Altis Marquês the following year. And woe betide any water that should even think of entering the freshly refurbished former Hotel Victoria de Granada in the Spanish city of Granada. For NH Hoteles has spent €1 million equipping what is now the 70-room, four-star NH Victoria.

Marylebone Warwick Balfour Sells The Radisson SAS Hotel In Glasgow Return to Headlines
Marylebone Warwick Balfour (MWB) has kept its asset disposal programme ticking over with the sale of the freehold interest in the five-star Radisson SAS Hotel, Glasgow, in Scotland. The WG Mitchell Group has paid £52.5 million for the 250-room property that MWB itself developed in 2001/02. The sale price represents a pre-tax profit of £2.3 million on the hotel’s value as at 30 June 2005. Down on the south coast of England, meanwhile, Bond Street Estates has paid more than £4.7 million for the four-star Belgrave Hotel in Brighton. The Vienna Group, which already has three hotels in the town, is to operate the 63-room property.

A Four-Month Trading Update From Hilton Group Return to Headlines
The talks between Hilton Group and Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) regarding HHC’s proposed acquisition of its cousin’s hotel division continue. As the conversation entered a new week, Hilton Group knew that even if the supply of black coffee dried up it could prevent HHC’s eyelids from drooping with a flourish of its trading statement covering the four months to 31 October 2005. And what a comforting sight to behold: Hilton Group’s pre-tax profit 10% ahead, and like-for-like RevPAR across the hotel portfolio 8.8% up in the month of October. Chief Executive David Michels expected that the strong improvement in hotel trading worldwide would continue into next year.

A New Owner Anchored In Ankara Return to Headlines
Özelleştirme Idaresi Başkanliği (Turkey’s ‘Privatization Administration’) has conducted another hotel sale. Turkish construction firm Çelikler saw off eight rival bidders to secure the purchase from the state pension fund of the Büyük Ankara Hotel for a reported US$36.8 million. Celebrations too in another capital: Sofia in neighbouring Bulgaria. Spanish firm Barceló Hotels & Resorts has made its first trip to the country to open the 120-room Barceló Festa Sofia. Commiserations though, perhaps, to Italian real estate firm Beni Stabili, which has exited the hotel business with the sale to Touring Hotel International of the San Clemente Resort. The company can console itself with the €82 million it will receive once the sale of the resort on the Italian island of San Clemente, in the Lagoon of Venice, completes at the end of this month.

Britvic Makes Plans To Float Return to Headlines
Soft drinks company Britvic has plans to float on the stock market. The company’s decision awakens plans drawn up in 2004 by its shareholders InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Whitbread, Pernod Ricard and PepsiCo that called for all four to consider disposing of their shares at some point between January 2005 and December 2008. It would seem that that point has been reached. IHG has announced plans to dispose of all or part of its 47.5% stake, and Whitbread has revealed it will follow suit with its stake of 23.75%. The listed Britvic will appoint Gerald Corbett as its non-executive chairman and Paul Moody as its chief executive.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 10/11/05-17/11/05

InterContinental Hotels Group - The share price responded to talk among analysts that Starwood Hotels might put in a bid.

NH Hoteles - Hesperia Hoteles is said to want to raise its stake, leading to speculation that the company could launch a takeover bid.

Sol Meliá - Fitch cut the company's credit rating to speculative grade status in its belief that economic conditions in Europe were such that Sol Meliá's underlying profitability was unlikely to improve significantly this year.