Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 30 June 2006
The Bidding For De Vere Group Starts To Heat Up
Reef To Develop Budget Hotels In The Middle East
Jumeirah Prepares To Change On The Beach
Accor At The Double In Dubai
Hyatt Confirms Its Presence In Yekaterinburg
Pandox Acquires Scandic Plaza In Borås
Ten German Hotels; Summit's Up For Them
Hilton Arrives In The Seychelles
Mansfield's Park
The International Hotel Conference Won't Be The Same Without You

The Bidding For De Vere Group Starts To Heat Up
As takeovers go, the one involving De Vere Group started the week straightforwardly enough, the company having agreed on an offer from AHG Venice of 825p a share. This offer valued De Vere at approximately £723.5 million. The move though served to awaken the ardour of another suitor, the private equity firm Permira, which was said to be considering making an offer of 840p a share. The ball came back into AHG Venice’s court, and the investment vehicle led by Richard Balfour-Lynn and Uberior Ventures returned with a volley measured at 850p a share. This figure values De Vere at some £745.4 million. Game, set and match? Well, rumour has it that Permira may not be defeated yet.

Reef To Develop Budget Hotels In The Middle East Return to Headlines
Reef Real Estate Investment Co. is to spend a reported US$500 million over the next two years on establishing as many as ten budget hotels in its homeland of the United Arab Emirates. The properties, two of which are already under construction in Dubai, will be managed by Corp Executive Hotels, a new company formed by Reef and Coral International. The first hotel should be finished in early 2007 and its rooms will contribute to the total of 2,000 rooms that Reef has as its target. Corp Executive Hotels might also get the opportunity to exercise its managerial skills at sites Reef has identified in Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.

Jumeirah Prepares To Change On The Beach Return to Headlines
The Jumeirah Beach Club Resort & Spa, in Dubai, is to close next January. But don’t let the salt water well in your eyes; for Jumeirah will reopen the property in the fourth quarter of 2007. And when the property returns it will be bigger (141 luxury suites compared to the current 50) and fresher, thanks to a complete overhaul. Busy times these for Jumeirah, which has also signed an agreement to manage Aqua Dunya, the largest theme park resort in the Middle East. Al Sharq Investment is the owner and developer of the US$1.9 billion resort, which is due to open on the Dubailand development in early 2009. The luxury 400-room Jumeirah Desert Pearl Hotel will be one of the many properties within. HVS International advised Al Sharq Investment in the management contract negotiations.

Accor At The Double In Dubai Return to Headlines
The Al Barsha district of Dubai will have the welcome mat out twice for Accor in 2008. The hotelier has signed a management agreement with Al Ali Property Investments for Hotel & Resorts that covers the 480-room Ibis Barsha and the 437 rooms and 90 serviced apartments provided by the Novotel Hotel and Residence.

Hyatt Confirms Its Presence In Yekaterinburg Return to Headlines
A message to those awaiting the arrival of Hyatt International in Yekaterinburg: hold on, the company is definitely coming. Behind the Urals, Hyatt has signed an operating agreement with Verh-Isetskaya Investment Construction Company on the 300-room Hyatt Regency Yekaterinburg, which is being built by Bouygues Bâtiment International for an opening in 2008. That same year Hyatt International is due to open the 350-room Grand Hyatt Moscow, giving the company two hotels in Russia.

Pandox Acquires Scandic Plaza In Borås Return to Headlines
Pandox, the Swedish hotel property company, will be on home soil on 3 July, the date on which the company takes over the Scandic Plaza. The hotel in the southwestern city of Borås has 135 rooms and cost Pandox 136.5 million Swedish kronor (€14.8 million) to buy from Västsvenska Hotellfastigheter. The Scandic Plaza is Pandox’s second hotel in the city, the other being the 158-room First Hotel Grand.

Ten German Hotels; Summit's Up For Them Return to Headlines
Ten hotels in Germany; some of them built, others two years away from completion. None save Summit Real Estate Holdings (SREH) and its intimates knows precisely the nature of the hotels and the names of all of the cities where they are located. Bonn, Essen, Frankfurt and Munich have though been identified. And who might the “well known German hotel operator” be that is to hold the long-term lease on each property? Doubtless we will find out as SREH purchases each completed hotel in turn and then sells each on to its subsidiary Summit Germany, a commercial property investment company. If Summit Germany chooses to buy all ten hotels then it expects that its total expenditure could reach €100 million.

Hilton Arrives In The Seychelles Return to Headlines
Crowne, the company which owns the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa, has indulged in a spot of island-hopping across the Indian Ocean and has landed in the Seychelles. On 1 July Crowne will witness the hoisting of the Hilton flag above another of its properties, which with the ceremony becomes the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa. This 40-villa, five-star resort, which is Hilton’s first property in the Seychelles, stands in Victoria, the capital of the island of Mahé.

Mansfield's Park Return to Headlines
Head west out of Dublin on the road to Saggart and sooner or later you will encounter the 1,314-room Citywest hotel complex, the property of entrepreneur Jim Mansfield. Head a little farther along the road and you may see Mr Mansfield standing outside his latest acquisition: the 160-room West Park Hotel. Mansfield paid a reported €15 million for the property, which has been closed since September 2005, and he is said to have plans to spend the same amount again on refurbishment work. Follow the coast road from Dublin to the town of Dundalk and you will find Prem Group ahead of you. The company has moved in to manage the 101-room Fairways Hotel & Conference Centre, which will in due course take the Days Hotel name and be upgraded.

The International Hotel Conference Won't Be The Same Without You Return to Headlines
You must have heard of the International Hotel Conference; it’s the one where the dress is casual but the thinking is not. Those who have already booked their place may now loosen their ties, or other item of clothing, in preparedness and are excused from reading the remainder of this paragraph. Those whose diaries are still blank for 11-13 October should visit www.internationalhotelconference.com click here and book now. After all, the Rome Cavalieri Hilton will be filled on those dates with the wise words of distinguished moderators and speakers whose surnames span the alphabet from Antel (of DLA Piper Moscow) to Wolff (of Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo). The letters ‘B’, ‘K’ and ‘R’ are represented by three of HVS International’s finest: Dominique Bourdais and Russell Kett of the London office, and Steve Rushmore, president and founder of the company.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 22/06/06-29/06/06

De Vere Group - Market hopes of a takeover battle caused the share price to rise.

Whitbread - Numis placed a 'Buy' rating on the stock and gave a target price of 1,391p.

Sol Meliá - The Spanish market closed slightly higher on Tuesday, as Wall Street managed early on to stay in the black. Sol Meliá's shares were among those which outperformed.