Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 27 October 2006
Cedar Capital Buys The Mandarin Oriental, Prague
A Change Of Name For Rezidor SAS As IPO Looms
Read All About It: Another Express Delivery
Generali France Gives Invesco More Money To Spend
Baltpark Figures In Reval's Expansion Plans
Hilton Docks In Liverpool; M&C Cuts A Deal With The Blades
Tourvest Pockets Another South African Hotel
NH Hoteles Opens The NH Kensington In London
Up Pops The Jurys Cork Hotel
Kingdom Hotel Investments Sells Part Of Stake In Fairmont Raffles Holdings
Whitbread Makes "Good Progress" In The First Half

Cedar Capital Buys The Mandarin Oriental, Prague
Cedar Capital Partners is a firm that invests in hotels; and this week has been no exception. In partnership with one of its institutional investors, the company has paid an undisclosed sum for the Mandarin Oriental, Prague. This luxury 99-room hotel opened in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, in September.

A Change Of Name For Rezidor SAS As IPO Looms Return to Headlines
The initial public offering (IPO) of Rezidor SAS Hospitality, heralded in June by the SAS Group, should be complete by the end of this year. In preparation for the IPO and flotation on the Stockholm stock exchange, Rezidor SAS Hospitality has changed its name to Rezidor Hotel Group and SAS Group has plans to sell its 75% holding. Carlson Hotels Worldwide will raise its stake in Rezidor from 25% to 35%.

Read All About It: Another Express Delivery Return to Headlines
Portugal and the Galicia region of northwest Spain share the Iberian Peninsula and will share too in the plans of InterContinental Hotels Group and Palminvest to develop seven Express by Holiday Inn hotels (a total of more than 900 rooms) over the next five years. If we are lucky we might find fresh tracks laid by the cement lorries; if we follow these tracks we will find that one set leads to Oporto, in northwest Portugal, and the other to the airport in Lisbon. Construction of one hotel in each of these locations is already under way, and if we call back in early 2008 we should find that each hotel has opened. The plans call for Lisbon and Oporto to be revisited and for the southern resort of Faro and the Leiria/Coimbra area to be involved too. The Spanish participant in the plan is the city of Vigo.

Generali France Gives Invesco More Money To Spend Return to Headlines
Generali France, the insurance firm, has given Invesco Real Estate an account mandate of €300 million; Invesco will invest the equity in hotel real estate across Europe. In addition, Invesco is to asset-manage three hotels owned by Generali France and is to advise the insurance firm on plans that it has to set up a French listed hotel real estate company that would be similar to an REIT. Generali France was one of six European financial institutions that invested in a dedicated hotel real estate fund managed by Invesco Real Estate that had its first closing recently. This fund was established to invest in mid-market hotels in the European Union.

Baltpark Figures In Reval's Expansion Plans Return to Headlines
Reval Hotels has doubled its portfolio in Lithuania by paying an undisclosed sum for the two hotels in the Baltpark chain. The hotels – one in the capital Vilnius, the other in the port of Klaipeda – have 84 rooms each and mark Reval Hotels’ entry into the economy hotel sector. The company therefore requires a new brand and the name chosen is Reval Inn. The two hotels will begin operations under their new name in January 2007.

Hilton Docks In Liverpool; M&C Cuts A Deal With The Blades Return to Headlines
The city of Liverpool in northwest England will have its first sight of the Hilton brand in 2008. The 216-room Hilton Liverpool is one of two hotels that will be part of the Liverpool One development, a 42-acre mixed-use scheme costing £900 million that is to be built by Grosvenor. Hilton is supporting Liverpool; Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) is supporting Sheffield: the red-and-white-striped half, anyway. The football club Sheffield United expects that work to construct a 149-room, four-star hotel at its Bramall Lane stadium will begin early next year. Millennium & Copthorne has been named as the preferred operator.

Tourvest Pockets Another South African Hotel Return to Headlines
Tourvest (Tourism Investment Corporation), of South Africa, has been in an acquisitive mood lately. In August it paid R23 million (around US$3 million) for the 28-suite, four-star Adderley Hotel, in Cape Town, and snapped up the Makalali Game Lodge, in Limpopo, the same month. The name on the stub most recently parted from its cheque is that of Casa do Sol, a luxury 54-room hotel that stands in the eastern town of Mpumalanga. The amount entered on the cheque was not disclosed. Relais Hotels, a hotel management firm in which Tourvest has taken a stake, is to manage the extensive refurbishment of the Casa do Sol.

NH Hoteles Opens The NH Kensington In London Return to Headlines
NH Hoteles, the Spanish hotel chain, now has its second hotel in London. The new arrival, in the South Kensington district of the city, is the four-star NH Kensington, which offers 121 rooms and 14 two-bedroom residential apartments. NH Hoteles acquired the property (Huntingdon House) used in the making of this hotel in partnership with its compatriot Losan, the real estate firm, for €51 million earlier this year.

Up Pops The Jurys Cork Hotel Return to Headlines
Jurys Doyle Hotel Group closed the Jurys Cork Hotel in February 2005 and sold it four months later for €14 million. Dismay on the faces of the inhabitants of Cork, in the Republic of Ireland, soon turned to joy though when they discovered Jurys Doyle working away in a small corner of the same site on the creation of: the new Jurys Cork Hotel. The hotel is now open; Jurys Doyle has taken a 35-year operating lease on the 182-room, four-star property.

Kingdom Hotel Investments Sells Part Of Stake In Fairmont Raffles Holdings Return to Headlines
Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) has sold for a net profit of US$7.4 million a holding of 0.5% in Fairmont Raffles Holdings International. OMERS, a pension fund management company that recently acquired seven Fairmont hotels in its native Canada, paid US$12.6 million for the stake. The sale represents a realised return on KHI’s invested capital in Fairmont of 138% and an equity IRR of 56.1%. KHI retains a holding of 0.37% in and its place on the board of Fairmont Raffles Holdings International.

Whitbread Makes "Good Progress" In The First Half Return to Headlines
Shareholders in Whitbread will welcome with a smile the news that they are to receive an additional £350 million. The glare from myriad pairs of teeth will be positively blinding once shareholders have combined this news with a read of the company’s interim figures. In the six months to 31 August 2006 Whitbread saw pre-tax profit before exceptionals rise by 20.8% to finish on £109.8 million. Revenue (from continuing operations) was no slouch either, rising as it did by 8.6% to finish on £696.5 million. The hotels in the Premier Travel Inn portfolio returned revenue of £239.2 million, an increase of 15.6%, and RevPAR of £38.42, an increase of 3.6%. Having made “good progress” in the first half, Whitbread is “confident of further progress in the second half”; it is a half which has opened with Whitbread engaged in formal discussions about the possible sale of the restaurant chain TGI Friday’s.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 19/10/06-26/10/06

Millennium & Copthorne - There were bid rumours and speculation too that the company might be ready to strike further hotel sale and leaseback deals.

Whitbread - More rumours of a break-up of the company sent the share price soaring to a record high.

InterContinental Hotels Group - Credit Suisse initiated coverage with an 'Outperform' rating and a target price of 1,130p.