Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 6 January 2006
Brand's Reunited
Von Essen Enjoys A Luxury Family Christmas
Rezidor SAS: A Christmas Presence In Azerbaijan and Egypt
The Lowndes Hotel Thanks Jumeirah For The Suites
LO Says Goodbye To Stockholm Hotel Complex
Swallow Gallops To Newmarket
Fashionable Sixty Seeks Under-30s For Four-Star Thrills
Post-Christmas Turkey

Brand's Reunited
Christmas is traditionally a time for family reunions, and Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) and its cousin the Hilton Group are as traditional as the next family. The talks held between the two parties in the latter half of 2005 have culminated in HHC’s paying out some £3.3 billion for Hilton Group's hotel division Hilton International. And thus was HHC, the holder of the rights to the Hilton brand in the USA, reunited with the holder of the rights to the brand elsewhere in the world to create a unified whole for the first time since 1964. When the deal has been completed – and completion is due by the end of the first quarter of 2006 – Hilton Group is expected to change its name to Ladbrokes plc. Sir Ian Robinson will stay on as that company’s chairman and Christopher Bell will be appointed chief executive.

Von Essen Enjoys A Luxury Family Christmas Return to Headlines
Luxury Family Hotels (LFH) announced in the autumn that it was in talks with Von Essen Hotels 4 Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Von Essen Hotels. As a result of these talks, all of LFH’s founder shareholders and more than 90% of its ordinary shareholders have accepted an offer made by Von Essen Hotels. LFH operates Woolley Grange, in Wiltshire; Fowey Hall, in Cornwall; Moonfleet Manor, in Dorset; and The Ickworth Hotel and Dower House, both of which are in Suffolk. Von Essen Hotels has added the properties to the newly created Family Luxury category, which complements its existing Country Set and Classic Set.

Rezidor SAS: A Christmas Presence In Azerbaijan and Egypt Return to Headlines
Azerbaijan and Egypt were clearly uppermost in Rezidor SAS Hospitality’s mind as the company drew up its gift list. No one need have made do with a stable in the Azerbaijani capital Baku on Christmas night, not with 248 rooms newly available at the Park Inn Azerbaijan. The hotel is a second in the city to be owned by ISR Holding; it opened the Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel in 1998. Egypt’s present was the 250-room Radisson SAS Resort, El Quseir: the fourth property in the country to fly the Radisson SAS flag.

The Lowndes Hotel Thanks Jumeirah For The Suites Return to Headlines
Hotel company Jumeirah has travelled from the Middle East to the West End of London to supervise the renovation of the Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel. Behind the closed doors of the 78-room boutique property workmen will be engaged between now and October in a US$14 million programme that will have as its main feature the addition of a sixth floor. This floor will boast nine suites, taking the suite count to 14.

LO Says Goodbye To Stockholm Hotel Complex Return to Headlines
Swedish hotel and leisure company Capona has agreed to pay its compatriot Landsorganisationen (LO) 90 million Swedish kronor (approximately €9.5 million) for the hotel and spa complex Yasuragi Hasseludden. Capona has appointed Choice Hotels as the manager of the 163-room property, which stands in Nacka on the outskirts of the Swedish capital Stockholm.

Swallow Gallops To Newmarket Return to Headlines
Swallow Hotels has started the new year with its appetite for acquisition in the UK undiminished. The company paid the private owner of the Rutland Arms hotel in the town of Newmarket, in Suffolk, close to the reported asking price of £4.2 million for the 46-room, three-star property. A foray just before Christmas took Swallow Hotels up to Gateshead in the northeast of England, where it paid an undisclosed sum for the privately owned 60-room Springfield Hotel.

Fashionable Sixty Seeks Under-30s For Four-Star Thrills Return to Headlines
If you prefer graffiti to magnolia on the walls of your hotel room, then you are just the sort of guest that Sixty Group, the Italian fashionwear firm, is after. The company reportedly has plans to open a string of such specially designed four-star hotels that will be aimed specifically at the 18 to 28 age range. Reports suggest that the first property will open in the coastal town of Riccione, in northern Italy, this April.

Post-Christmas Turkey Return to Headlines
Reports in the Turkish press note that Lycus Hotels has begun work on what will be its third hotel in Turkey. The 200-room, five-star Lycus Beach is due to open in 2007 in the southern resort of Alanya. Limber up for your trip to the beach with a work-out on the ski slopes up north in Uludag. And then collapse in the privacy of your room at a new hotel that has opened there: the 192-room Hotel Monte Baia.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 29/12/05-05/01/06

Accor - The share price finished the year on the rise, amid reports that Accor would be selling hotels in 2006.

NH Hoteles - Deutsche Bank kept both its 'Sell' rating and its target price of €9.6.

Hilton Group - Merrill Lynch reiterated its 'Neutral' recommendation.