Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 13 October 2006
Death Announced Of Howard 'Butch' Kerzner
Ready, aAIM? Buy!
Honestly, It's All Me, Me, Me With Sol Meliá
Invesco Real Estate Is Ready To Invest
Alternative Names For Verve Venues And De Vere Hotels
A Grand Haul In Germany
Shangri-La Sets Up Home In Abu Dhabi
Loughrey House To Become A Hotel
Starwood Uncorks The Hotel Marqués De Riscal
Hilton Opens Hotels In Manchester And London

Death Announced Of Howard 'Butch' Kerzner
Readers will already be aware of the untimely death in a helicopter crash in the Dominican Republic on 11 October of Howard ‘Butch’ Kerzner, 42, the chief executive of Kerzner International. We were greatly saddened by this news and we send our condolences to his family and the company.

Ready, aAIM? Buy! Return to Headlines
aAIM Group, a property investment company, and R20, the investment vehicle of entrepreneur Robert Tchenguiz, have paid Nikko Principal Investments £180 million for Menzies Hotels. The new owners have formed a 50:50 joint venture called Piccadilly Hotels to look after Menzies Hotels, which has a portfolio of 15 four-star hotels (1,418 rooms) in the UK. Reports suggest that Piccadilly has already recruited Bank of Scotland to provide an additional £180 million that will be used to double Menzies Hotels’ portfolio over the next few years.

Honestly, It's All Me, Me, Me With Sol Meliá Return to Headlines
“Remember Me, Experience Me, Energize Me, and Dare Me” are not some coquettish demands but rather the core mottos of Me by Meliá, a new brand from Spanish hotelier Sol Meliá. The hotels wearing the brand will pride themselves on guest recognition and promise “an experience beyond accommodation”. So if you want some ‘Me’ time and cuisine that “teases the taste buds long after the last bite” then discard that cheeseburger and hurry over to the Spanish capital Madrid, where the 192-room Me Madrid, Reina Victoria (the former Tryp Reina Victoria hotel) is about to open.

Invesco Real Estate Is Ready To Invest Return to Headlines
Six European financial institutions, among them two of Europe’s biggest insurance groups, have placed equity totalling more than €250 million into a dedicated hotel real estate fund managed by Invesco Real Estate. The money is to be spent on acquiring individual hotels or portfolios of hotel assets in the European Union that occupy the limited service, mid-market or upper mid-market tiers. The hotels in question must be those operated by national or international firms under recognised brands.

Alternative Names For Verve Venues And De Vere Hotels Return to Headlines
A simple exercise: remove the second ‘v’ from Verve Venues, jostle the remaining letters of the first word together and prefix the whole with ‘De’. You should end up, as the Alternative Hotel Group (AHG) did, with De Vere Venues. If not, go back and try again while the rest of us find out more about AHG’s newly named training, meetings and conference business. It is a business that will, after AHG’s recent takeover of De Vere Group, embrace several existing De Vere hotels and is also one with a new location: a building within the Holborn Bars complex in central London. AHG’s fancy for finding new names has spread to the De Vere Hotels portfolio too. The properties will be repositioned in the five-star sector and will be known as De Vere Resorts.

A Grand Haul In Germany Return to Headlines
Grand City Hotels & Resorts has taken over the management of eight hotels in its native Germany that fly the flag for Accor. Four of the eight are Novotel hotels (those in Bonn, Neuss, Saarbrücken and at the airport in Düsseldorf). These are joined by the Mercure Hotel Hessenland Kassel, the Formule 1 Magdeburg Süd Flugplatz, the Ibis Dortmund West and the Etap Hotel Bremen Bremer Kreuz. Grand City may consider rebranding all eight hotels at the beginning of next year.

Shangri-La Sets Up Home In Abu Dhabi Return to Headlines
Shangri-La Hotels and Al Jaber Group have met before; it was in Dubai, and the Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai was conceived. The result of the second encounter between the pair is the Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri. This 214-room hotel and its associated serviced apartments and villas are scheduled to open in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in February next year. Abu Dhabi is the emirate of choice for Planet Group too. The company from Dubai has plans to build a 500-room, five-star hotel, together with a Hard Rock Café, at the Danet Abu Dhabi development.

Loughrey House To Become A Hotel Return to Headlines
Loughrey House is a dwelling close to Ashford Castle, which stands in Co. Mayo, in the Republic of Ireland. A group of investors led by property developer Paddy Kelly has invested close to a reported €18 million in extending the house, which is set to open early next year as a 50-room hotel. Another developer making the news in the country this week is Bernard McNamara, who has paid an undisclosed sum for the 64-room Ormond Hotel, which stands on Ormond Quay in the city of Dublin.

Starwood Uncorks The Hotel Marqués De Riscal Return to Headlines
Those who follow the work of the architect Frank Gehry were probably to be found this week huddling in the Spanish town of Elciego and admiring his latest creation: the Hotel Marqués De Riscal. Starwood Hotels & Resorts would have been willing the crowd to come inside a book a stay; the 43-suite hotel is the latest addition to its Luxury Collection. Spanish hotelier Riu Hotels & Resorts has no time to stand and stare; it is wanted urgently in Cape Verde. The islands off the coast of West Africa are about to welcome the company’s second hotel: the 500-room, five-star ClubHotel Riu Garopa.

Hilton Opens Hotels In Manchester And London Return to Headlines
An astrologer who had included the prediction “your lucky word is ‘tower’” in this week’s horoscope for Hilton in England would have seduced many nonbelievers in his mystic art. They would have stopped in mid scoff on hearing that Hilton had got a little closer to the stars by entering the 47-storey Beetham Tower in Manchester to open the 279-room Hilton Manchester Deansgate, which occupies 23 of the floors. Imagine the run on telescopes that must have ensued when Hilton announced that it had opened the Hilton London Tower Bridge. The 245-room hotel is Hilton’s fifteenth property in London.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 05/10/06-12/10/06

Whitbread - There was talk that Whitbread might return an additional £300 million to investors.

Millennium & Copthorne - Kepler Teather & Greenwood put a 'Buy' rating on the stock.

NH Hoteles - The share price slipped amid newspaper rumours that NH Hoteles was among those bidding for a 29.5% stake in Occidental Hoteles. Analysts reportedly felt that the implied valuation of 100% of Occidental (of €1.1 billion) was high.