Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 25 August 2006
Great Southern Hotels Greet Their Buyers
Travelodge Hotels Says, "Hello, Dubai"
It's Regent's Canal Point
Another Millionaire Heads For Chelsea
Orco Property Group Merges Its Hotel Divisions
De Vere's Shareholders Agree To The Takeover And To A Hotel Sale
InterContinental Hotels Group Has A Good First Half
Kew Green Hotels Ready To Fly Its Plans For Gatwick
Golden Tulip Reaches Leende
More Choice In France
No Animals Were Harmed In The Making Of This Conference

Great Southern Hotels Greet Their Buyers
Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) decided in February that it wanted to sell Great Southern Hotels. Buyers for seven of the eight hotels in the Republic of Ireland have been found and deals involving three separate sets of purchasers should be concluded by the end of next month. DAA expects to realise more than €265 million from the sale. Irish development firm Edward Holdings has acquired the hotel in Killarney, and the two in Co. Galway. Spentor, a company controlled by Bernard McNamara, chose the Parknasilla hotel in Co. Kerry. The hotels at three airports (Dublin, Shannon and Cork) were the fancy of a company controlled by Ronan and Frank McArdle, the Walsh brothers and Alan McIntosh. DAA is confident that a buyer will be found soon for the hotel in Rosslare. The ninth hotel in the chain – the solitary property over the border in Northern Ireland – was sold to the existing shareholders, who took the 25% stake held by Great Southern Hotels in the City Hotel, in Londonderry.

Travelodge Hotels Says, "Hello, Dubai" Return to Headlines
Travelodge Hotels has a new owner. The private equity firm Dubai International Capital (DIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai Holding, has paid its counterpart Permira £675 million for a company which operates a combined total of 291 budget hotels in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Spain. The deal is expected to complete by the end of next month. DIC will retain the leading members of Travelodge’s senior management team, including chief executive Grant Hearn and chairman Keith Hamill. All will work towards Travelodge’s goal of becoming the leading budget operator in London by 2012; by this date the company wants to have more than 7,000 rooms in the capital.

It's Regent's Canal Point Return to Headlines
Canal Point is a mixed-use project in the emirate of Dubai that is being developed by the investment firm Istithmar. One component of the project is a luxury 250-room hotel, which, thanks to a management agreement signed this week by Istithmar and Rezidor SAS Hospitality, will take the Regent brand. Elsewhere in the emirate, Habtoor Hospitality is gearing up for the opening this September of the extension to the 192-room Metropolitan Hotel Dubai. The Metropolitan Suites will provide an additional 63 luxury rooms.

Another Millionaire Heads For Chelsea Return to Headlines
The Times reports that Gulshan Bhatia is one of several parties interested in acquiring the Conrad London, which forms part of a mixed-use development on Chelsea Harbour in southwest London. Mrs Bhatia, who owns the Hilton London Paddington, is one of Britain’s wealthiest women and is therefore unlikely to balk at the figure of at least £50 million that bank Lloyds TSB is said to be asking for the 160-suite hotel.

Orco Property Group Merges Its Hotel Divisions Return to Headlines
Orco Property Group, which develops, manages and invests in properties in Central and Eastern Europe, has in 15 years of life always allotted its luxury serviced apartments to its MaMaison Residences division and its luxury hotels to the Orco Hotel Collection. This distinction is no more, as the company has decided to merge the divisions into one to produce MaMaison Hotels & Apartments.

De Vere's Shareholders Agree To The Takeover And To A Hotel Sale Return to Headlines
Shareholders in De Vere Group have voted in favour of their company’s being taken over by AHG Venice. The investment vehicle, which is led by Richard Balfour-Lynn and Uberior Ventures, made an offer of 875p a share in July. A resolution was also passed in favour of Stephen Morgan’s (a former non-executive director of De Vere Group) acquiring the De Vere Carden Park, a 196-room hotel near the city of Chester, in northwest England. De Vere Group will take out a 20-year management contract on the property, which was sold for an undisclosed sum.

InterContinental Hotels Group Has A Good First Half Return to Headlines
Andrew Cosslett, the chief executive of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), said that the company had had a ‘good first half’, and one look at the figures for the six months to 30 June 2006 shows the observer why. IHG saw its operating profit from continuing operations rise by 30%, to £107 million, and its revenue from continuing operations increase by 16%, to £394 million. RevPAR across the company’s hotels in both the EMEA region and the Americas region was 11.5% ahead of the respective comparable figures of the previous year. Mr Cosslett noted that current trading was healthy and that the company’s outlook for the rest of the year was positive.

Kew Green Hotels Ready To Fly Its Plans For Gatwick Return to Headlines
Kew Green Hotels (KGH), which operates limited-service hotels in the UK, is reportedly ready to apply for permission to build a Courtyard by Marriott hotel near the South Terminal at Gatwick. If the local council approves the £20 million project, then KGH, in partnership with BAA Lynton, will start work on the 220-room hotel next spring. The target completion date is summer 2008. Eleven of the hotels that KGH currently operates have the Courtyard by Marriott brand.

Golden Tulip Reaches Leende Return to Headlines
Take a stroll through the southern part of the Netherlands and you will see Golden Tulip Hospitality and Westerhout Group working hand in hand. The Tulip Inn Heerlen: that’s one of theirs, as is the Golden Tulip Weert. The pair have tightened their grip by signing a third franchise agreement, this one covering the Golden Tulip Jagershorst. This newly built 89-room hotel is set to open on 1 March 2007 in Leende, to the south of the city of Eindhoven.

More Choice In France Return to Headlines
Choice Hotels Europe has reinforced its presence in France by opening two hotels in the central region of the country and one in the capital Paris. The Parisian property is the 55-room, three-star Quality Hotel Michel Montparnasse. South of Paris is the town of Vierzon, where the 41-room Comfort Hotel Vierzon is open for business. Farther south still is the 40-room Comfort Hotel Montluçon, which has set up home in the town of Saint-Victor.

No Animals Were Harmed In The Making Of This Conference Return to Headlines
In ancient Rome those seeking thrills headed for the Colosseum. In modern Rome, in 2006 certainly, thrill-seekers will head for the International Hotel Conference. Though attendees at this event, the fourth in the annual series, are unlikely to witness any bears being wrestled it is not inconceivable that one or two delegates might arrive dressed as gladiators. After all, this conference, which the Rome Cavalieri Hilton is hosting from 11 to 13 October, is the one where the dress is casual. HVS International will be fielding Steve Rushmore, Russell Kett and Dominique Bourdais. Give the conference the thumbs-up by enrolling now at www.internationalhotelconference.com. click here

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 17/08/06-24/08/06

InterContinental Hotels Group - Analysts were pleased with the company's interims. Jefferies International put a 'Buy' rating on the stock and raised its target price from 940p to 1,070p.

NH Hoteles - The share price climbed to a record high of €17.44 this week after fresh rumours of a takeover. The share price subsequently fell on profit taking.

Whitbread - Numis Securities kept its 'Buy' rating and raised its target price from 1,500p to 1,676p.