Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 10 November 2006
Gates Among Those Hoping To Click With Four Seasons
A Strategic Review Dawns At Dawnay Shore Hotels
Panorama Investigates Europe
Nuran Up And Running In Dubai
Kempinski Signs Up To A Third Hotel In Russia
Two More Art'otels For Germany
Vienna International Finds Its Way To Warsaw
Thomas Cook Books Creativ Sale
The Dorchester Group Becomes The Dorchester Collection
The Same Choice, Only For Longer
Third-Quarter Figures From Sol Meliá

Gates Among Those Hoping To Click With Four Seasons
Word is given that Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft Corporation, is among those interested in the privatisation of Four Seasons Hotels. Mr Gates’ company Cascade Investment has joined forces with Kingdom Hotels International, already a significant shareholder in Four Seasons, and Triples Holdings, the company owned by Isadore Sharp, Four Seasons’ chairman and chief executive, which has a controlling share in Four Seasons, to put forward a bid that would value the Canadian luxury hotel chain at US$3.7 billion. If the deal were to go through, then Triples would take a holding of around 10% and the remaining shares would be divided equally between Cascade and Kingdom. Mr Sharp would remain in his current posts.

A Strategic Review Dawns At Dawnay Shore Hotels Return to Headlines
Dawnay Shore Hotels has revealed that it is to undertake a strategic review. Early indications are that the company, in which The Hotel Corporation has a stake of 49.9%, might, as a result of the review, transfer its property assets into an REIT (real estate investment trust). Alternatively, Dawnay Shore Hotels might choose to put itself up for sale. The company, which was established in 2004 by Shore Capital and Dawnay, Day, owns 20 four-star hotels in the UK and operates under the Paramount brand.

Panorama Investigates Europe Return to Headlines
Since setting up home in Tokyo in September 2005 Panorama Hospitality has been managing hotel assets in Asia on behalf of Morgan Stanley Real Estate (MSRE); the portfolio currently contains 13 hotels (2,800 rooms). Panorama now has the opportunity to replicate that success in Europe, where it will begin by managing MSRE’s portfolio of seven InterContinental hotels and the Mandarin Oriental, Prague. Panorama will be led across to the new continent by its vice president Peter Henley, who has joined the company from Raffles Holdings. The chairman of Panorama and the man charged with expanding MSRE’s burgeoning hotel and resort investment business is hotel industry luminary André Martinez, formerly of Accor and Meridien Hotels.

Nuran Up And Running In Dubai Return to Headlines
Nuran is the brand name given by Emaar Properties to its fully serviced residences. All properties will be in the care of Nuran Serviced Residences, a subsidiary of Emaar Properties. The brand received its official launch this week with the opening at Dubai Marina, in the emirate of Dubai, of the 90-unit Nuran Al Majara Residences. Meanwhile, Emirates International Holdings, of the United Arab Emirates, and Sunland Group, a property developer from Australia, have formed Emirates Sunland Group. This 50:50 joint venture is to manage White Bay, a mixed-use tourist resort costing around a reported US$2 billion that will be developed in the emirate of Umm al Qaiwain.

Kempinski Signs Up To A Third Hotel In Russia Return to Headlines
Which city has been chosen by Kempinski Hotels to take its third hotel in Russia? Full marks to those who answered Nizhni Novgorod. Kempinski has signed a management agreement with OOO Volga-Invest on a 250-room hotel that will be the city’s first international five-star hotel when it opens towards the end of 2009. Also following five stars eastwards is InterContinental Hotels Group. Reports from the republic of Georgia suggest that a building in the Georgian capital Tbilisi that is currently occupied by the Ministry of Agriculture will be cultivated by Georgian Property and turned into the InterContinental Tbilisi. The 155-room hotel is expected to open in 2009.

Two More Art'otels For Germany Return to Headlines
Take two art’otels into Germany? Park Plaza Hotels Europe has. Property one is in the capital Berlin: the art’otel Berlin Kudamm (you may know it as the former Sorat art’otel Berlin). This hotel has 133 rooms and should be completely refurbished by March 2007. Property two is the art’otel Potsdam, in the city of Potsdam. It has 123 rooms. There are now five art’otels in Germany but keep your eyes peeled for others that are expected to arrive in the cities of Düsseldorf and Cologne.

Vienna International Finds Its Way To Warsaw Return to Headlines
Neither of Vienna International Hotels & Resorts’ two previous trips to Poland had taken it to the country’s capital Warsaw. Setting out again for Poland from its home in Austria, the company determined that this time the city would enter its domain by taking over the management of the 427-room Hotel Jan III Sobieski. Bank Pekao, of Poland, announced recently that it had sold its stake of almost 49.4% in the hotel for €11.1 million to Europa Hawk of Luxembourg.

Thomas Cook Books Creativ Sale Return to Headlines
Thomas Cook AG, the tourism company, has sold its 40% holding in Creativ Hotel Buenaventura for an undisclosed sum. The buyer was Lopesán Touristik, which as a result of the transaction now owns 100% of a company that has two hotels on the island of Grand Canary, in the Canary Islands, and a majority holding in the German hotelier IFA Hotel & Touristik.

The Dorchester Group Becomes The Dorchester Collection Return to Headlines
The Dorchester, in London; The Beverly Hills Hotel, in Los Angeles; the Hotel Principe di Savoia, in Milan; and the Parisian pairing of Le Meurice and the Hôtel Plaza Athénée. Ah, the Dorchester Group. Well, it was the Dorchester Group: the company is now calling itself the Dorchester Collection. In celebration of its tenth birthday the company wants for presents more of the finest hotels in Europe, Asia and the USA; it means to obtain them by acquisition or by entering into management contracts.

The Same Choice, Only For Longer Return to Headlines
The same love that is in the air over Luleå, in northern Sweden, may be sensed down the western side of Norway: the love between a hotel owner and his operator. Norgani Hotels, the Norwegian owner, is happily married to Choice Hotels Scandinavia and this week the couple renewed the vows they made concerning the 209-room Quality Hotel Luleå, the 163-room Quality Hotel Alexandra, in the Norwegian town of Molde, and the 140-room Comfort Hotel Holberg just down the coast in the city of Bergen. The new commitment each has made in the sight of the hotel world allows Choice Hotels Scandinavia to rent each property for around another nine years, meaning that the company will be at the hotel in Bergen until 2016 and at the other two hotels until 2018.

Third-Quarter Figures From Sol Meliá Return to Headlines
How was your summer? Only if you felt your third-quarter RevPAR surge by 7.2% can you truthfully say that it was as positive a summer as the one enjoyed by the European resorts of Sol Meliá. The Spanish hotelier saw RevPAR rise in its European City division too; the increase in the third quarter was 13.6%. The quarter also yielded a 13% rise in EBITDA, to €265 million, and a 10% increase in revenue, which finished on €965 million. No surprise then that Sol Meliá is optimistic about its full-year results and the prospects for 2007.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 02/11/06-09/11/06

InterContinental Hotels Group - The proposed privatisation of Four Seasons Hotels sent IHG's share price soaring.

Whitbread - Fresh takeover talk lifted the share price.

Sol Meliá - ING raised its target price from €13.6 to €16.6.