Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 15 December 2006
JER Partners Takes A Half-Share In Manotel
HVS Executive Search's Study Judges Jurys To Be Top
Istithmar Hotels To Buy Shares In International Hotel Investments
Starwood Places A 'W' In The Palm
Admiral's Families Seen In The Portman
Euro Hotels: Hand In Glove With Mitt
Mövenpick Brings A Second Hotel To Qatar
Christmas Brings A Tulip For Amsterdam
Iberotel Provides Zara Fillip
Every Hotel Counts: Check Out What Tesco Has Bought
Whitbread Provides A Trading Update

JER Partners Takes A Half-Share In Manotel
HVS International has advised JER Partners in its acquisition from Finial Holding of a 50% stake in the hotel chain Manotel. The transaction is due to complete early next year and values Manotel, which has six hotels (610 rooms) in the Swiss city of Geneva, at more than SFr200 million (more than €125 million). Finial, a privately owned investment firm, which retains the other 50% of Manotel, will work with JER Partners on expanding the Manotel chain into other Swiss cities, such as Zürich, Basle and Lucerne. The pair will spend up to SFr175 million (€110 million) over the next three years on the acquisition of hotels having between 50 and 150 rooms.

HVS Executive Search's Study Judges Jurys To Be Top Return to Headlines
Jurys Doyle Hotel Group has come out on top in a study by HVS Executive Search of corporate governance practices at public hotel companies in Europe. Based on an analysis of the 2005 annual reports of 20 publicly listed hotel companies, HVS Executive Search’s findings revealed that before going private in early 2006, Jurys Doyle was the best performer on issues such as board balance (non-executive versus executive), separation of chief executive and chairman, frequency of committee meetings, and board remuneration. Other high performers were InterContinental Hotels Group, CHE Hotel Group and Whitbread. Read the article in full by downloading it (in pdf format) from www.hvs.com click here.

Istithmar Hotels To Buy Shares In International Hotel Investments Return to Headlines
Istithmar Hotels, of Dubai, expects to have closed by next March a deal that will see it spend €178 million on new shares issued by the Maltese firm International Hotel Investments (IHI), the principal owner of Corinthia Hotels International. The proposed deal will raise IHI’s share capital to €500 million and will provide the firm with funds to invest in the further acquisition and development of five-star hotels worldwide. In addition, IHI is to acquire from Corinthia Group, in a principally share-based deal, the Corinthia Bab Africa Hotel, which stands in the Libyan capital Tripoli, and the Corinthia Towers Hotel, which resides in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

Starwood Places A 'W' In The Palm Return to Headlines
Three Ws: Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ worldwide web of W Hotels has broadened with the arrival of a third W hotel in the Middle East. The emirate of Dubai takes W Dubai – The Palm, which is set to open in late 2009 on the crescent of The Palm, Jumeirah development. The property, which is the second W hotel in the emirate, will have around 400 rooms and is to be developed by Al Sharq Investment. HVS International advised Al Sharq Investment during the management contract negotiations. Flushed with success in Dubai, Starwood next turned its attention to the Hotel Lav, which has been renovated at a cost of €80 million and as the Le Meridien Lav has reopened to become the first Le Meridien hotel in Croatia. The 381-room property stands near the port of Split.

Admiral's Families Seen In The Portman Return to Headlines
The Landesbergs and the Rosenbergs, the families behind Admiral Taverns, the third-largest pub group in the UK, have created a vehicle called Gloucester Capital specifically to acquire the Radisson SAS Portman Hotel. Gloucester Capital is reported to have paid around £80 million for the 272-room property, which stands in central London. The hotel, which could be in line for an extensive refurbishment, will continue to operate under the Radisson SAS brand.

Euro Hotels: Hand In Glove With Mitt Return to Headlines
Euro Hotels is Norwegian and so is Mitt Hotel Scandinavia. Both companies have hotels across Norway (Mitt has ten hotels in Sweden too). The two have a lot in common; so, as any romantic Norwegian would think, marriage is a possibility. Well, those are indeed wedding bells and not Christmassy sleigh bells you can hear jingling; for Euro Hotels and Mitt Hotel Scandinavia are to merge to create the second-largest chain in Norway (63 independent hotels having a total of some 4,000 rooms).

Mövenpick Brings A Second Hotel To Qatar Return to Headlines
It is traditional to give at this time of year, and Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has given Qatar a second hotel. The 350-room, five-star Mövenpick Tower & Suites Doha, which stands at the entrance to West Bay Area, a trade district in the Qatari capital Doha, complements the 154-room Mövenpick Hotel Doha.

Christmas Brings A Tulip For Amsterdam Return to Headlines
Owners of the Golden Tulip Hospitality (GTH) Advent calendar would have been intrigued to find behind door number one a franchise agreement signed by GTH and European Hotel Management. Owners curious about what the sheet of paper related to would have had their curiosity satisfied when they opened door number 12 and found the Golden Tulip Amsterdam-Vinkeveen, which is GTH’s seventy-fifth hotel in the Netherlands. The property, which was recently acquired by the real estate firm M. Caransa, has 65 suites now but could have 130 by 2010. Future plans for the hotel also include the construction of a leisure centre.

Iberotel Provides Zara Fillip Return to Headlines
A hotel of 306 rooms is being built at the mixed-use resort of Tala Bay, in Aqaba, the only port in Jordan. And when the hotel opens in 2008, Iberotel Hotels & Resorts it will be who begins to sing; for Iberotel, through its joint venture Egyptotel, has signed an agreement with Zara South Coast Development Company, a subsidiary of Zara Investment (Holding) Company, to manage that hotel, which will be known as the Iberotel at Tala Bay.

Every Hotel Counts: Check Out What Tesco Has Bought Return to Headlines
Tesco, the supermarket chain, has paid Fuller, Smith & Turner, the brewer and retailer, a total of £18.5 million for both the leasehold and the freehold in the Master Brewer Hotel, which stands in Hillingdon, on the western outskirts of London. The 105-room property had a net book value, as at 30 September 2006, of £4.86 million.

Whitbread Provides A Trading Update Return to Headlines
Those who want to take some positives from 2006 should mine Whitbread’s latest trading update, which is rich in plus signs. Dig down through the layers representing the first 39 weeks (to 30 November) of the company’s financial year to strike gold in the form of coffee beans; the gold-medal winner in terms of sales growth was the Costa chain, which ground out total sales that were 22.1% ahead of the previous year’s comparable. A little further down is the silver layer, which is occupied by Premier Travel Inn and its total sales growth of 16.3%. Hook a sports vest with the next swing of the pick and you will know you have found bronze; none are more bronzed than the habitués of David Lloyd Leisure, which recorded healthy sales growth of 5.8%.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 07/12/06-14/12/06

InterContinental Hotels Group - The share price surged on rumours that Starwood and Permira are considering making bids.

Whitbread - Panmure Gordon put a 'Buy' rating on the stock and raised its target price from 1,750p to 1,800p.

NH Hoteles - The share price rose on news that the Ibex-35 index committee had voted to keep the stock in the index.