Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 3 February 2006
Kingdom And Colony Combine To Buy Fairmont
Kingdom Hotel Investments To Float In Dubai And London
The One About The Scotsman
IHG Unveils Seven InterContinentals As The Next Batch For Sale
Azerbaijan Has A Holiday Inn
Arora Family Trust Buys Nine UK Airport Hotels
Hilton Comes Into View In Toledo
An Item Of Paramount Importance
Swallow's Up The Hall

Kingdom And Colony Combine To Buy Fairmont
Kingdom Hotels International and investment firm Colony Capital have joined forces to acquire Canadian chain Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The pair will pay US$45 in cash for all of the remaining shares (Kingdom already has a stake of some 5%); this offer values the chain at some US$3.9 billion. A completion date of the second quarter of 2006 is anticipated, after which time the Fairmont portfolio will be combined with another of Colony Capital’s acquisitions: the portfolio of Raffles hotels. Fairmont will though remain an independent company and Raffles will retain its brand identity.

Kingdom Hotel Investments To Float In Dubai And London Return to Headlines
Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) has plans to float on the stock markets in both Dubai and London. An initial public offering (IPO) of shares to investors in the Middle East and Europe will provide KHI with the money to invest in the further acquisition and development of hotels. The company currently owns 15 existing hotels and 11 that are under development. The Financial Times reports that the IPO should value Kingdom at around £563 million and should realise an investment fund of some £169 million.

The One About The Scotsman Return to Headlines
Rumours carried on the autumn air and picked up by the press suggested that The Scotsman Hotel Group (SHG) was looking for a buyer. Now it has found one in Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber’s MBI International. It has paid £63 million for SHG, which has three boutique hotels: The Scotsman, in Edinburgh; 42 The Calls, in Leeds; and the Hôtel de la Trémoille, in Paris. MBI has plans to raise the room count at The Scotsman from the present 69 and intends that all three new acquisitions shall form part of a stand-alone collection of luxury hotels. The Berners Hotel is likely to join the set; the hotel in London belongs to JJW Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of MBI International.

IHG Unveils Seven InterContinentals As The Next Batch For Sale Return to Headlines
The penultimate chapter in InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) asset disposal story concerns the proposed “sale and manageback” of seven InterContinental hotels in Europe. The properties in the cities of Amsterdam, Budapest, Cannes, Frankfurt, Madrid, Rome and Vienna share a total of 2,537 rooms. IHG has written, but is yet to publish, the final chapter. The company has though tantalised potential purchasers by revealing that the plot involves mid-scale hotels in Europe. The two portfolios have a combined net book value of some £600 million.

Azerbaijan Has A Holiday Inn Return to Headlines
InterContinental Hotels Group has signed an agreement to manage a Holiday Inn hotel at the international airport in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The airport authorities have put up the money for the 150-room property, which is due to open at the end of this year. Endeavours on the shores of the Caspian Sea are matched by those on the shores of the Black Sea. The Stein Group has the month of May in mind for the opening of the first 42 rooms of the Hotel Rodina in the resort of Sochi. An additional 37 guest rooms are due to open in 2007.

Arora Family Trust Buys Nine UK Airport Hotels Return to Headlines
Arora Family Trust has paid more than £300 million to take full ownership of the Airport Hotels Unit Trust (AHUT) and its nine hotels in the UK. The portfolio of some 3,700 rooms comprises the Hilton and Renaissance hotels at Heathrow; the Hilton, Sofitel, Premier Travel Inn and Renaissance hotels at Gatwick; and the Hilton, Radisson SAS and Express by Holiday Inn hotels at Stansted. AHUT was created by BAA Lynton, BAA’s property arm, in March 2000.

Hilton Comes Into View In Toledo Return to Headlines
There’s no stopping Hilton International in Spain at the moment. A few days on from announcing details of its first hotel in Majorca, the company has diverted our attention to the mainland and the city of Toledo. Real estate group Vistahermosa is busy there, creating the 115-room Hilton Buenavista Toledo, which is set to open in the second quarter of 2007. Both this hotel and the one in Majorca will be managed by Gestión T3 Hoteles. Meanwhile, NH Hoteles is managing just fine in Valladolid, in northwest Spain. The company’s second hotel in the city is the 120-room, four-star NH Bálago.

An Item Of Paramount Importance Return to Headlines
Dawnay Shore Hotels recently acquired the Furlong Hotel Group, and placed the three hotels into the Paramount Group of Hotels’ portfolio. This act has prompted Paramount to undertake a spot of rebranding. Seventeen of its 20 hotels in the UK are now prefixed with the name ‘Paramount’. The three exceptions are those three hotels recently acquired: The Lygon Arms, Billesley Manor and Combe Grove Manor. They will form part of a new sub-brand called Signature Hotels.

Swallow's Up The Hall Return to Headlines
Swallow Hotels has plucked the Risley Hall Hotel from the hands of administrators who had held the property since November 2004. Swallow is reported to have paid close to £7 million for the 36-room hotel in Risley, Derbyshire. If Swallow’s flight path took it over the nearby city of Nottingham then the company would have spotted Marston Hotels arriving to open the 120 rooms of The Nottingham Belfry. An approach from the west would have taken Swallow over the city of Derby, which is now home to the 84-room Sleep Inn Derby.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 26/01/06-02/02/06

Whitbread - The share price surged to a six-year high as speculation about the company's break-up intensified.

Hilton Group - The company confirmed that a number of approaches had been made for Ladbrokes.

NH Hoteles - Deutsche Bank retained its 'Sell' rating.