Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 15 September 2006
Permira Acts On Principal
Springtime For Sheraton And Bratislava
Leaver's Left
Hesperia Hoteles To Sell Two Hotels In Spain
Harte In The Heart Of London
Doha Golf Club Has A Taste For Exotica
Turkey And Russia Find Room For Holiday Inn
Heliopark Shines On Baden-Baden
Golden Tulip Hospitality To Manage A Tenth Hotel In The Netherlands
King Edward Has Its Eye On Becoming A Hotel
Final Call For The European Hotel Finance & Investment Summit

Permira Acts On Principal
This year Permira has closed the door on the budget sector (it sold Travelodge Hotels) and has knocked on the door of De Vere Group (it found its way barred by bouncers from AHG Venice). The private equity firm has though found a way back into the hotel building through the door marked ‘four-star’. Permira has paid Royal Bank of Scotland a reported £300 million for Principal Hotels, which has six hotels in the UK. Principal Hotels will be looking to its new owner to help it make acquisitions both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe as it seeks to expand its portfolio to perhaps as many as 40 hotels.

Springtime For Sheraton And Bratislava Return to Headlines
Ballymore Properties, the Irish property developer, last year secured approval to build the Eurovea International Trade Centre in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. A hotel was always going to be part of the first phase of this mixed-use development, and this week it was revealed that the man in the hard hat clutching an agreement to manage the 207-room, five-star hotel was a representative of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The Sheraton Bratislava is set to open in spring 2009.

Leaver's Left Return to Headlines
AHG Venice has completed the acquisition of De Vere Group, so concluding a process that reached its climax earlier this summer when the investment vehicle submitted an offer of 875p a share to trump the private equity firm Permira. And now that the deal has been done it is a time for farewells. Carl Leaver, the chief executive of De Vere Group, has left, along with, among others, chairman David Richardson and finance director Matthew Fearn. AHG Venice might also find itself saying goodbye to the De Vere Cavendish; The Times reports that the Barclay brothers have made an offer of around £100 million for the 230-room, four-star hotel, which stands in central London.

Hesperia Hoteles To Sell Two Hotels In Spain Return to Headlines
The Spanish press report that Hesperia Hoteles has agreed to sell two of its hotels in the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain. The 134-room, four-star Hesperia Sarriá, in Barcelona, and the 79-room, three-star Hesperia Castelldefels, in Castelldefels, are the hotels on offer and Nozar, a property developer based in Madrid, is the prospective purchaser. The press add that Hesperia might put some of the money towards raising its stake in its compatriot NH Hoteles to 25%.

Harte In The Heart Of London Return to Headlines
A trio of boutique hotels in central London known collectively as Argyll Townhouse Hotels has found a buyer after spending just over a year on the market. Harte Holdings, a property group from the Republic of Ireland, has paid Artesian Property Partnership a reported £30 million for the portfolio: The Royal Park (48 rooms), The Elizabeth (41 rooms) and The Cranley (39 rooms). Reports suggest that The Stein Group is to manage the properties.

Doha Golf Club Has A Taste For Exotica Return to Headlines
Doha, the capital of Qatar, is in line for its first five-star golf and spa hotel. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is to work with Qatar Sports Investment Company on the creation of the Taj Exotica Golf and Spa Resort, which will stand at Doha Golf Club. The 150-room hotel, which will absorb investment of around US$60 million, is set to open in early 2009.

Turkey And Russia Find Room For Holiday Inn Return to Headlines
The Turkish city of Istanbul will welcome a third Holiday Inn next summer. With its 327 rooms, the Holiday Inn Istanbul Airport North will be the largest mid-scale branded hotel in the city. The hotel was born from an agreement signed by InterContinental Hotels Group and Turkish firm Denk Turizm Inşaat Yatirim Işletme ve Ticaret. Russia is currently two Holiday Inns up on Turkey. The city of Moscow has all four of the hotels, the latest to open being the 523-room Holiday Inn Moscow-Sokolniki. The Holiday Inn Istanbul Airport North may well be the biggest in its city, but its sister property in Moscow is the largest Holiday Inn in continental Europe.

Heliopark Shines On Baden-Baden Return to Headlines
Heliopark Hotels & Resorts has taken its first step outside its native Russia by acquiring what is said to be the oldest hotel in Baden-Baden, the spa town in southwestern Germany. The Bad Hotel zum Hirsch, which was once part of the Steigenberger chain, will be refurbished and reopened next summer as a 71-room, four-star hotel. Heliopark is expected to invest a total of a reported US$10 million in the acquisition (the seller was the German real estate fund Adolf Scherer) and the refurbishment.

Golden Tulip Hospitality To Manage A Tenth Hotel In The Netherlands Return to Headlines
Down on the shores of the Paterswoldemeer, in the Netherlands, lives the Golden Tulip Paterswolde Groningen. A hotel that has held the Golden Tulip franchise for more than six years has become the tenth hotel in the Netherlands to be selected by Golden Tulip Hospitality (GTH) to come under its managerial control. GTH has for a third time put pen to paper on a lease agreement with The Westermeijer Group, which has acquired the 65-room hotel from Koop Holding Europe. Over the border in Belgium, meanwhile, Accor has opened a fourth hotel of the Sofitel persuasion in Brussels: the 149-room Sofitel Brussels Europe.

King Edward Has Its Eye On Becoming A Hotel Return to Headlines
Wanborough, in Wiltshire, might often be overlooked by those hurrying towards its near neighbour Swindon. But not by Mentmore Hotels & Leisure, which has the village in its sat-nav and the local council in its sights as it applies for permission to transform King Edward Place, a manor house of the parish, into a four-star hotel. Wanborough would certainly put itself on the map if the 135-room property is built, especially if Marston Hotel Group, whose organisation the hotel would join, names the hotel The Swindon Belfry. If your car is fitted with a device that homes in on important hotel sales in the southwest of England, then expect to find yourself being propelled towards Salcombe, in Devon. Menzies Hotels has sold the 53-room, four-star Marine Hotel to Benton Property Holding and The Marine Hotel (South West) for a reported £10 million.

Final Call For The European Hotel Finance & Investment Summit Return to Headlines
The sixth annual European Hotel Finance & Investment Summit is almost upon us. There are five days left from the date of this newsletter before the event opens at the Sofitel St James, in London; five days during which distinguished speakers (more than 40 of them) will be fine-tuning their presentations especially for you. Don’t let their efforts go to waste; register now at www.euromoneyseminars.com click here. Among those who will be grateful that you did are Russell Kett (Managing Director, HVS International, London), who will be moderating a panel asking, “Who will be tomorrow’s dealmakers?”, and Philip Bacon (Managing Director, EMEA and Asia, HVS Shared Ownership Services), who will be addressing the question “The shared ownership model – does it work as an investment proposition?”.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 07/09/06-14/09/06

Accor - Credit Suisse kept its 'Outperform' rating but raised its target price from €61 to €64.

Millennium & Copthorne - DBS Vickers Securities put a 'Buy' rating on CDL Hospitality Trusts, the real estate investment trust established in Singapore by Millennium & Copthorne.

Whitbread - Deutsche Bank placed a 'Buy' rating on the stock and has a target price of 1,345p.