Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 16 February 2007
Trillium's Millions Land 30 Accor Hotels
CBRE Investors Acquires RMH, And Thus Balladins
Four Seasons Agrees To Go Private
Hilton's Second In Jordan And Starwood's Sixth In Syria
Mövenpick Hotel Kuwait Adds A Convention Centre
Ascott Undertakes A Somerset On Russian Ground
Von Essen Hotels Acquires London Heliport
Blackstone Buys Copenhagen Marriott
Caltongate Open To The Sofitel Brand
Rezidor Reports Its Full-Year Figures
Vote For Your International Hotelier Global Citizen

Trillium's Millions Land 30 Accor Hotels
Accor has agreed a sale and leaseback deal involving 30 of its hotels (5,000 rooms) in the UK. Land Securities Trillium (LST), part of the Land Securities Group, will pay £439 million for the mix of Ibis and Novotel properties, which Accor will operate under 12-year variable leases for a total of 84 years. LST will pay an additional £35 million over four years towards the renovation of the portfolio. Accor intends to use the agreement to create a long-term partnership with Land Securities that will allow the hotel chain to develop further in the UK.

CBRE Investors Acquires RMH, And Thus Balladins Return to Headlines
CBRE Investors has acquired for an undisclosed sum a 100% holding in RMH Group, the owner of the hotel chain Balladins. The chain comprises 160 hotels (more than 7,000 rooms) rated from one star to three, which ply their trade in France or Belgium. The purchase is CBRE Investors’ third acquisition in the space of three months. At the end of last year the company bought six hotels (396 rooms) from the French group Géo, and at the start of February CBRE acquired the 95-room, three-star Royal Mirabeau, which stands in the city of Aix-en-Provence, in southeastern France. The price of neither transaction was disclosed.

Four Seasons Agrees To Go Private Return to Headlines
It comes down to the shareholders’ vote in April. If a sufficient number of crosses are marked in the “Yes” box, then those shareholders will have shown they approve of the privatisation of their company Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (FSH). The Canadian luxury hotel chain revealed last November that it was considering an offer of US$82 a share made by a party of three: Cascade Investment, which is owned by Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft Corporation; Kingdom Hotels International, already a significant shareholder in FSH; and Triples Holdings, a company owned by Isadore Sharp, FSH’s chairman and chief executive. The offer price values FSH at US$3.8 billion (including debt). The transaction, if approved, is set to complete in the second quarter of this year.

Hilton's Second In Jordan And Starwood's Sixth In Syria Return to Headlines
Hilton Hotels Corporation’s second hotel in Jordan is to be the Hilton Aqaba. The 346-room hotel, which is due to open in the first half of 2010, will form part of the Tala Bay Resort complex in the port of Aqaba. Hilton signed the management agreement with Aqaba Gate for Hotels and Tourism Projects. Meanwhile, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ sixth hotel in Syria is the Sheraton Aleppo Hotel in the city of Aleppo. The 199-room hotel is owned by Bab Al Faraj for Tourism and Hotels and was built at a cost of a reported US$40 million.

Mövenpick Hotel Kuwait Adds A Convention Centre Return to Headlines
The Mövenpick Hotel & Convention Centre Kuwait is the new name for the Mövenpick Hotel Kuwait, so there are no prizes for guessing what has been freshly built. Yes, a convention centre, which in addition to supplying the facilities one might expect provides the hotel with an extra 54 guest rooms and suites. Meanwhile, Al Fahim Group has been called upon to build another hotel in its native emirate of Abu Dhabi. Tourism Development and Investment Company has commissioned the group to build a 369-room, five-star beachfront hotel costing around a reported US$218 million. The hotel is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2008.

Ascott Undertakes A Somerset On Russian Ground Return to Headlines
The Ascott Group, the Singaporean owner/operator of serviced residences, has entered Russia in partnership with Amtel Properties Development. The pair have an initial US$100 million to spend on the acquisition and development of serviced residences in the cities of Moscow and St Petersburg. The aim is to have 1,000 serviced residence units in operation by 2010. Aside from this agreement, Amtel has awarded Ascott a five-year contract to manage the Somerset Strogino, Moscow: a 150-unit serviced residence that should be ready in 2009.

Von Essen Hotels Acquires London Heliport Return to Headlines
Von Essen Hotels has acquired the London Heliport from Weston Group for close to a reported £50 million. Though von Essen has an interest in helicopters (the company has its own fleet), it has handed control of the heliport in Battersea, on the banks of the Thames, to PremiAir, the helicopter charter service and operator of the von Essen fleet, so that it (von Essen) can concentrate on a plot of land nearby that was included in the deal. Von Essen, which has 23 hotels in the UK, will build a luxury 70-room property on that land as part of a development that will include a new heliport terminal and meeting facilities.

Blackstone Buys Copenhagen Marriott Return to Headlines
You might have been forgiven for thinking as you watched The Blackstone Group slip away across the border after its recent bout of acquisitive activity in Germany that the private equity group was entering Denmark solely to give its wallet a holiday. But as soon as your gaze was averted, Blackstone began fishing in its back pocket again. How many banknotes were unfurled as it purchased the 395-room Copenhagen Marriott Hotel the company did not disclose. All quiet in Germany now that Blackstone has gone? Not a bit of it. In from Sweden came Rezidor Hotel Group intent on opening its thirteenth Park Inn hotel in the country. The Concorde Hotel Viva in the city of Nuremberg will be reworked to produce a 152-room Park Inn hotel by this autumn. And there was a party going on in Berlin as Sol Meliá celebrated the official opening of the first Meliá-branded hotel in Germany: the 364-room Meliá Berlin.

Caltongate Open To The Sofitel Brand Return to Headlines
One proposed feature of the Caltongate mixed-use scheme in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a 205-room hotel. Reports suggest that Mountgrange Capital, the developer of the scheme, has signed up Accor to operate the property under the Sofitel brand. It is thought that the hotel could be open by 2010. Just over the border, in northeast England, the Bannatyne Group is poised to open its second Hotel Bannatyne: a 50-room property in the city of Durham. The hotel is one of five that the company expects to open in the UK as part of a £15 million investment programme.

Rezidor Reports Its Full-Year Figures Return to Headlines
Kurt Ritter, the president and chief executive of Rezidor Hotel Group, noted that 2006 had been a good year for the company. For the year ending 31 December 2006 Rezidor posted a profit after tax of €29.0 million, an increase on the previous year of 25.0%, and revenue of €707.3 million, an increase of 20.5%. The company predicted further growth in RevPAR in 2007; RevPAR across Rezidor’s leased and managed hotels in 2006 was €72, an increase on the previous year of 7.5%.

Vote For Your International Hotelier Global Citizen Return to Headlines
Know you of someone who might be worthy of the title “International Hotelier Global Citizen”? That person must be an international hotelier who has not only made their mark on the hospitality industry but who has also made a humanitarian contribution to society. If you can think of someone, then you should email your nomination to Morris Lasky mlasky@aol.com. You have until 15 April. Voting will then open online until 1 August at www.internationalhotelconference.com. The winner will be announced in October at the International Hotel Conference in Rome.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 08/02/07-15/02/07

Accor - CA Cheuvreux placed an 'Outperform' rating and raised its sum-of-parts target to €70.

InterContinental Hotels Group - The share price surged earlier in the week amid continued bid rumours.

Millennium & Copthorne - HSBC initiated its coverage with an 'Underweight' rating and a target price of 615p.