Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 17 February 2006
Macdonald Mulls Sale And Manageback
Global Hyatt Signals Its Purchase Of The Great Eastern Hotel
A Second Crowne Plaza For Prague
Hilton For Palermo And Warsaw
Hotel du Vin Gains Grade II At Both Cambridge And York
Kingdom Might Come Out To Play When School's Out
MNG Holding Wants A New Theme For Turkey
They Have Come To Appraise Caesar And Perhaps To Buy It
Hull Hath No Four-Star Before Woodcock Scored

Macdonald Mulls Sale And Manageback
The Times reports that Macdonald Hotels & Resorts is thinking about selling around one-third of its portfolio of 68 hotels in the UK. The newspaper notes that such a ‘sale and manageback’ deal could raise more than £200 million, although the exact number and the identity of the hotels that could be involved are yet to be determined. Macdonald Hotels is said to have been prompted into seeking advice on the matter after receiving “some serious approaches from a number of institutional investors”.

Global Hyatt Signals Its Purchase Of The Great Eastern Hotel Return to Headlines
Those with their ears to the track claim to have heard the rumblings of an approaching deal involving the Great Eastern Hotel for some time. How pleased the dealspotters will have been to see the arrival at Liverpool Street railway station in London of Global Hyatt Corporation coupled with private equity investor JER Partners. The pair expect to close the deal on the 267-room hotel with Conran Holdings and the Blackstone Group next month. The five-star property, which stands adjacent to the railway station, will take the Hyatt Regency name in January 2007.

A Second Crowne Plaza For Prague Return to Headlines
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has laid the cornerstone of what will be its second Crowne Plaza hotel in the Czech capital Prague: the 138-room Crowne Plaza Castle Prague. The property, which is due to open at the end of this year, will be operated by IHG franchisee Key Hotels Group Prague; this company has been operating the Express by Holiday Inn in the city since June 2005.

Hilton For Palermo And Warsaw Return to Headlines
The Hilton name will be placed above the door of three luxury hotels in the Sicilian capital Palermo, according to reports in the Italian press. The three properties – the Grand Hotel Villa Igiea, the Excelsior Palace Hotel and the Grand Hotel et Des Palmes – are owned by Acqua Pia Antica Marcia. The Hilton name will be seen too in Poland from this autumn onwards; Hilton International’s first hotel in the country will be the 314-room Hilton Warsaw Hotel and Convention Centre.

Hotel du Vin Gains Grade II At Both Cambridge And York Return to Headlines
Hotel du Vin has had the English cities of Cambridge and York in its sights for some time. The company has now acquired – for a total outlay of a reported £17 million – one Grade II listed building in each city, and has plans to convert each into a 42-room hotel. The property in Cambridge, which will open as a hotel in spring 2007, stands on Trumpington Street. The hotel in York is set to open in summer 2007, and will occupy the former headquarters of Shepherd Homes. Hotel du Vin currently has seven boutique hotels in the UK; its aim is to have a total of 25 hotels by the end of 2008.

Kingdom Might Come Out To Play When School's Out Return to Headlines
Children attending the Shimoni Demonstration School will have to find somewhere else to play if the grown-ups decide that their school in the Ugandan capital Kampala should make way for a five-star hotel. Reports from the East African country suggest that Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) has expressed an interest in building a total of three hotels in Uganda. The other two sites said to have been offered to KHI are at the source of the Nile and near the town of Garuga.

MNG Holding Wants A New Theme For Turkey Return to Headlines
Turkey’s MNG Holding likes its themed hotels (witness the WOW Topkapi Palace and the WOW Kremlin Palace). So those guests who would want the feeling during their stay that they are reliving the history of the Anatolia region of Turkey may do so in MNG’s latest themed property: the Millenium of Anadolu Hotel. Reports suggest that the company will be spending between US$35 million and US$40 million on the hotel, which is due to be finished by the end of 2007.

They Have Come To Appraise Caesar And Perhaps To Buy It Return to Headlines
Israeli businessmen Yair Rabinovitch and Doron Sagiv are reported to be in negotiations with the family owners of the Caesar Hotel chain with a view to acquiring the four hotels in Israel for a total of a reported US$80 million. The Caesar Jerusalem, the Caesar Resort Hotel Eilat, the Caesar Tiberias Hotel and the Caesar Premier Dead Sea Resort & Spa Hotel share a total of 916 rooms. One report suggests that Messrs Rabinovitch and Sagiv would sell the chain to an international hotelier.

Hull Hath No Four-Star Before Woodcock Scored Return to Headlines
Andy Woodcock, the managing director of property developer Weth Estates, has bought a building in the centre of Hull with an eye to redeveloping it as a 30-room, four-star hotel. If his plan is approved, then private investors will be encouraged to buy rooms at the hotel; the rooms would then be rented out to guests. If you prefer a hotel in a Scottish rather than an English port, then head for Aberdeen. Kenmore Property Group is to begin work this April on its City Wharf mixed-use development, which will include a 107-room hotel and a Grosvenor casino.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 09/02/06-16/02/06

NH Hoteles - The company revealed details of the expansion of its 'Fast Good' restaurant chain.

Sol Meliá - The share price was boosted by favourable reports on both the Spanish hotel sector and the company's net asset value.

Hilton Group - JP Morgan has raised its rating from 'Neutral' to 'Overweight' ahead of the company's full-year figures next week.