Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 12 May 2006
A Hotel On Park Lane: £105 Million
Sekyra Group To Invest In The Czech Market
IHG Brings Three Hotels To Dubai Festival City
Atlas Turns To Warsaw
Quinn Group Raises Its Stake In The Hilton Sofia
Easy For Victoria
Glenview Sees A Buyer Arrive
Kilronan Castle In Ireland Set For Redevelopment
Victoria-Jungfrau To Manage In Bern
First-Quarter Report From Sol Meliá
NH Hoteles Reveals Its First-Quarter Results

A Hotel On Park Lane: £105 Million
Marylebone Warwick Balfour (MWB) expects to complete the sale of the London Marriott Hotel Park Lane on 31 May. An anonymous private investor, described in some reports as being of Middle East origin, is ready to pay £105 million (inclusive of debt acquired) for MWB’s subsidiary MWB Park Lane Hotel, which owns the freehold in the 157-room, five-star hotel. The sale will provide MWB with a net surplus of some £4 million over the hotel’s book value as at 31 December 2005.

Sekyra Group To Invest In The Czech Market Return to Headlines
Sekyra Group is not only the largest real estate firm in the Czech Republic but is clearly a wealthy and benevolent one too. The company’s stated ambition is to invest around 1 billion Czech koruna each year in the hotel industry in its native land. As a signal of its intent Sekyra has already spent that amount (which is equivalent to some €35 million) on two four-star hotels: the 237-room Parkhotel, which stands in the capital Prague, and the Hotel Savoy, which stands in the mountain resort of Špindlerův Mlýn. Work to extend the Hotel Savoy to a total of 37 rooms should be finished by the end of September 2007. The Parkhotel is to be extended by 100 rooms.

IHG Brings Three Hotels To Dubai Festival City Return to Headlines
Suffix each of the brands InterContinental, InterContinental Residence Suites, and Crowne Plaza with the words Dubai Festival City and you produce the names of the three properties that will be bringing more than 1,000 rooms to the emirate of Dubai in the first quarter of 2007. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is developing all three in partnership with Al Futtaim Group.

Atlas Turns To Warsaw Return to Headlines
Property investment firm Atlas Estates has taken full (100%) ownership of the Hilton Warsaw Hotel and Convention Centre and the neighbouring Platinum Towers residential development. The Guernsey-based company paid a total of €35.9 million for the outstanding 66% stake in the complex. Atlas Estates noted that based on this acquisition price the implied yield from the operational hotel would be approximately 8.5%. The 314-room, five-star hotel is due to open this November and it will be Hilton's first hotel in Poland. The Platinum Towers are yet to be built, but work is due to start later this year.

Quinn Group Raises Its Stake In The Hilton Sofia Return to Headlines
The Sofia Municipality announced at the end of March that it was open to offers for its 14.07% stake in the Hilton Sofia. Reports indicate that a subsidiary of Quinn Group has paid the asking price of around €3 million and in so doing has taken Quinn Group's total stake in the 245-room hotel in the Bulgarian capital Sofia to 63.64%. The Irish company’s fellow shareholders are Hilton International, with a stake of 24.42%, and Bulgarian construction firm Glavbolgarstroy (11.94%).

Easy For Victoria Return to Headlines
Splendid Hotel Group is to take one of the 14 hotels that it currently operates in London and colour it orange. What else to do for a company that has become the first franchisee of the easyHotel brand in London. The 50-room Easton Hotel Victoria will be refurbished and will open in its new livery and with 78 rooms towards the end of this year. This will be the second easyHotel in London; the first, in Kensington, opened in August 2005 and is owned and operated by easyGroup itself.

Glenview Sees A Buyer Arrive Return to Headlines
Three months on from reports that it was up for sale the Glenview Hotel and Leisure Club has found a buyer. Who the buyer is was not disclosed, but the party concerned has made Stafford Holdings richer by a reported €18 million. The 70-room hotel stands near the town of Delgany, in Co. Wicklow, in the Republic of Ireland.

Kilronan Castle In Ireland Set For Redevelopment Return to Headlines
Reports indicate that permission has been granted for the redevelopment of a ruined nineteenth-century castle in Co. Roscommon in the Republic of Ireland. The project, which is said to be worth €50 million, will see Kilronan Castle reborn as an 81-room, five-star hotel that will have the companionship of a conference centre and 60 holiday homes.

Victoria-Jungfrau To Manage In Bern Return to Headlines
The Swiss government will hand over the management of the Bellevue Palace Hotel to Victoria-Jungfrau on 1 January 2007. The 130-room hotel, which is owned by the government, is the only five-star hotel in the Swiss capital Bern. Victoria-Jungfrau has a portfolio of three luxury hotels in Switzerland: the Victoria-Jungfrau, in Interlaken; the Palace Luzern, in Lucerne; and the Hotel Eden au Lac, in Zürich.

First-Quarter Report From Sol Meliá Return to Headlines
Sol Meliá has reported its results for the first quarter of 2006. The company recorded a 40.2% rise in net profit, to €21.8 million, and a 4.3% increase in its revenues, which finished on €273.5 million. The contribution of hotels in Spanish cities was a rise in RevPAR of 8.3%. RevPAR for the quarter across the company’s entire portfolio was 4.6% up on the previous year’s comparable, at €46.9.

NH Hoteles Reveals Its First-Quarter Results Return to Headlines
NH Hoteles rounded off last week with news of its first-quarter ending 31 March 2006. In the first three months of this year the company’s hotels produced revenue of €224 million, a rise of 13.6% on the previous year’s comparable, and EBITDA of €24.1 million, an increase of 20.6%. RevPAR among comparable hotels in Europe rose by approximately 11%. The best-performing European country in terms of RevPAR was Italy, which posted a rise of approximately 13%.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 04/05/06-11/05/06

Millennium & Copthorne - The share price rose on the strength of last week's announcement that M&C would be managing two hotels at Chelsea FC.

NH Hoteles - Deutsche Bank placed a 'Sell' rating on the stock but raised its target price from €9.6 to €10.5.

De Vere Group - Blackstone Group was rumoured to have withdrawn from the bidding race.