Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 10 March 2006
Robert Riley Appointed CEO Of Emaar Hotels
Foncière’s Fresh Fancy For Accor’s Hotels
Accor Outlines Its Disposal And Expansion Plans
Seven Holiday Inns Bring Happiness To Whitbread
Global Hyatt Takes Full Ownership Of The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme
Fattal Hotels Takes Two Hotels In Berlin
Blakes: The Family Hotel
Park Inn Marches On
Fly Emirates Hotels & Resorts
NH Hoteles Reaches 30 Hotels In The Netherlands
Forton Has The Brass For Slovakian Adventure
Eyes Down For Matters Graphic

Robert Riley Appointed CEO Of Emaar Hotels
Emaar Properties has announced that Robert Riley is the new chief executive of Emaar Hotels & Resorts. Mr Riley, most recently the chief executive of Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts, is to lead the development of the Armani-branded hotels and resorts. The search and selection process was handled on Emaar’s behalf by HVS Executive Search in London.

Foncière's Fresh Fancy For Accor's Hotels Return to Headlines
Forget Barcelona versus Chelsea. There was only one encounter that mattered this week: the all-French affair involving Accor and Foncière des Murs. Interest in this pair was aroused last year when a memorable meeting resulted in 128 leased hotels in France passing from hotelier to property company. The rematch was no less thrilling, Accor having selected a line-up of 59 hotels and five thalassotherapy units in France and 12 hotels in Belgium that among them shared a total of 8,300 rooms. The talent on display had a combined market value of €583 million. Foncière des Murs’ resistance quickly crumbled and Accor brought proceedings to a close with one flourish of a memorandum of understanding. Accor will stay on as manager of the hotels, which will keep their Novotel, Mercure and Ibis shirts.

Accor Outlines Its Disposal And Expansion Plans Return to Headlines
Accor this week completed its set of results for the year to 31 December 2005 by revealing its pre-tax profit. (The company gave the revenue figure in January.) Pre-tax profit before non-recurring items was up 17.5% (like for like) on the previous year’s figure, at €603 million. Alongside its results Accor gave notice that the process of disposing of non-strategic hotels, which the company counts as having begun in 2005, will continue until 2008. Accor calculates that in these four years it can raise around €1.5 billion. It plans on spending €2.7 billion on opening more than 200,000 new rooms worldwide (half of them in the economy and budget sectors) by 2010. So all money raised is welcome; the €96 million, for example, that Accor this week announced it had secured from the sale of its 1.42% stake in Compass Group.

Seven Holiday Inns Bring Happiness To Whitbread Return to Headlines
Whitbread has agreed to purchase seven Holiday Inn hotels in the UK from LRG Acquisition for a total of £34.5 million. All seven properties, which have a total of 1,021 rooms, will be converted into Premier Travel Inn hotels and will be helped on their way with a programme of refurbishment. The hotels, which are located in Cardiff, Carlisle, Hampstead (London), Leicester, Newcastle, Peterborough and South Mimms, come from a batch of 11 Holiday Inn properties that LRG put up for sale last autumn. This batch of 11 was in turn selected from the 68 Holiday Inns that LRG (a consortium formed by Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners, Realstar Asset Management and GIC Real Estate) acquired from InterContinental Hotels Group in spring 2005.

Global Hyatt Takes Full Ownership Of The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme Return to Headlines
Global Hyatt Corporation has taken outright ownership of the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme by paying an undisclosed sum to Bouygues Immobilier and Crédit Foncier. The operation of the 178-room, five-star property in the heart of the French capital is unaffected by the deal. Bouygues, with the support of Global Hyatt and Crédit Foncier, converted a bank building into the hotel, which opened in 2002.

Fattal Hotels Takes Two Hotels In Berlin Return to Headlines
As many a hotelier will tell you, satisfaction at home should not preclude one from straying on occasion. Take Fattal Hotels for example. It is not content with merely being the largest chain in its native Israel; now it wants to extend its reach into Europe. The company has begun by taking a 25% stake in each of two adjacent buildings in the German capital Berlin. The first building – The Excelsior – is already operating as a hotel: a 316-room, four-star example of the species. The second building – The Steinplatz – can call itself hotel, and a 160-room, five-star one at that, when conversion work costing €15 million comes to a close this December. Fattal Hotels will be managing both properties for 15 years from this April.

Blakes: The Family Hotel Return to Headlines
Atlan Holdings of Malaysia is to dispose of its entire equity interest in the investment holding company Courseville Holdings for £23 million. Courseville is the owner of the 52-room Blakes Hotel, a boutique property in London. Courseville, and hence the hotel, is to be acquired by Sir Mark Weinberg, the husband of the manager and designer of the Blakes, Lady Anouska Weinberg.

Park Inn Marches On Return to Headlines
What is it that the Republic of Ireland has two of but Russia none at all? Why, hotels of the Park Inn brand, of course. Rezidor SAS Hospitality has anyway rendered that question invalid at future hotel quiz nights by providing Ireland with its third Park Inn and Russia with its first. The property in Dublin, which formerly operated as Chief O'Neill's, will begin with 73 rooms but will have 93 rooms come 2008/09. The Russian city of Yekaterinburg welcomes a newly built 160-room hotel, which comes courtesy of Rezidor's collaboration with three separate investment funds from Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Fly Emirates Hotels & Resorts Return to Headlines
The airline Emirates has cleared Emirates Hotels & Resorts for take-off. This new hospitality management company will add properties both in the emirate of Dubai and elsewhere to its collection of resorts, spas and luxury serviced apartments. Properties will take the Emirates Hotels & Resorts brand.

NH Hoteles Reaches 30 Hotels In The Netherlands Return to Headlines
NH Hoteles has taken its hotel tally in the Netherlands to 30 by opening its second property in the northeastern city of Groningen. The 66 rooms supplied by the four-star NH Hotel De Ville take the company’s Dutch room count to 5,617. Meanwhile, back in NH Hoteles’ native Spain one will find the Fiesta Hotel Group doubled up with joy in the eastern city of Valencia. The company is reported to have paid around €36 million for the family-owned 204-room, four-star Astoria de Valencia. Fiesta already operates the four-star Festa Hotel Feria in the city.

Forton Has The Brass For Slovakian Adventure Return to Headlines
There is no oil up in them there hills, so why then, Slovaks might have asked themselves, are those four Russians, whom we have read in the papers are associated with the oil trade, heading up into the High Tatras. Enlightenment comes when Vychodoslovenska Energetika emerges from the mist to tell of an encounter with four Russian climbers who pressed more than 36 million Slovakian koruna (more than €980,000) into its hand and asked if they could buy its Hotel Energetik in Stará Lesná. That 31-room hotel is now the Hotel Forton. The Russians, and a Slovakian partner, who call themselves collectively Forton International, have reportedly been sighted elsewhere in Slovakia as they search for at least three more hotels to acquire.

Eyes Down For Matters Graphic Return to Headlines
There is an extra-special reason to scroll right to the bottom of the screen this week. (Or if you are reading this on paper, for forcing your eyes further down.) That reason is the inclusion in among the perennials on our share price graph of the name of Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI). Readers will be aware that KHI recently floated on the stock markets in London and Dubai, and we shall be tracking the progress of its share price on the London market.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 02/03/06-09/03/06

Whitbread - The share price rose on the rumours that Royal Bank of Scotland was in talks to acquire the 46 Marriott-branded hotels.

NH Hoteles - The share price slipped slightly after reports indicated that some analysts felt the shares were overpriced.

Accor - Though Accor’s results were in line with the expectations of most analysts, reports suggest that other analysts were disappointed that Accor did not repeat last year’s offer of a special dividend.