Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 8 June 2007
Hilton Targets Russia And The UK
Whitbread To Part With David Lloyd Leisure
The Closing Stages Of The Jurys Inn Chase
Vector's Flotation Plans Sink Temporarily
Qatari Diar To Build In Morocco
Casa, The Cape Crusader
Government In Ras al Khaimah Finds A Builder For Hilton
So Long Langs, Hello Park Inn
Cova Properties Buys A House In The Country

Hilton Targets Russia And The UK
Russia is familiar from its past with the term “five-year plan” and heard it uttered again this week, though this time by an American. Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) has given itself five years in which to build, with the help of London & Regional Properties, at least 25 hotels in Russian cities. The properties, each of which will be managed by HHC, will take a range of brands; the first hotel to open (in the second quarter of 2008) is scheduled to be a 186-room Doubletree by Hilton that London & Regional is building in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. The same five-year timescale applies in the UK too. Here, HHC has entered into a franchise deal with Shiva Hotels covering at least 15 hotels that will have the Hilton, Doubletree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn or Hampton by Hilton brand to choose from. The initial four properties (a total of 790 rooms) that should be included in the deal are those that Shiva has under development: a Hilton at Heathrow, a Hilton and a Hampton Inn by Hilton in the city of Leeds and a Hampton by Hilton property in the city of Derby.

Whitbread To Part With David Lloyd Leisure Return to Headlines
Whitbread expects to complete the sale of David Lloyd Leisure on 2 August. Versailles Bidco, a company owned by London & Regional Holdings and Bank of Scotland Corporate, will pay £925 million for the chain, which as at 1 March operated 60 health clubs in the UK and Ireland, seven in the Netherlands and one club in each of Belgium and Spain. Whitbread will use the proceeds to reduce its debt; any surplus cash is likely to be returned to the company's shareholders.

The Closing Stages Of The Jurys Inn Chase Return to Headlines
The race to buy the Jurys Inn chain began in earnest in March and the remaining runners have entered the final furlong. The view from the press box is that Quinlan Private, ridden by Irish businessman Derek Quinlan, is leading by a nose from Lydian Capital Partners, a private equity firm spurred on by horse racing entrepreneurs John Magnier and JP McManus. The greater amount of money is said to be on Quinlan Private, which is carrying a bid of a reported €1.2 billion. Who might come between the Irish and victory? Why, Whitbread, which, having unsaddled David Lloyd Leisure, could yet romp home and take the prize of 20 hotels in the UK and Ireland.

Vector's Flotation Plans Sink Temporarily Return to Headlines
The flotation of Vector Hospitality, the UK’s first specialist hospitality REIT (real estate investment trust), which was scheduled for this week, has been postponed “as a result of market conditions”. Vector, which was founded earlier this year by Alternative Hotel Group, Bank of Scotland Corporate and Royal Bank of Scotland, began the week by lowering the initial offer price to 875p to 900p a share to woo investors who had reportedly been made hesitant by concerns about Vector’s management structure and general fears about the global property market. Vector ended the week by announcing the postponement of the flotation, a move which of necessity means that the planned purchase by Vector of the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin chains has also had to be postponed.

Qatari Diar To Build In Morocco Return to Headlines
Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment, a company backed by the government of Qatar, is to build Al Houara Resort – Tangier, the company’s first luxury development in Morocco. The site occupies 234 hectares of the country’s Atlantic coast and will cost US$660 million to develop. When the resort is finished in 2011 it will include three five-star hotels offering a total of more than 2,700 beds, and more than 700 residential units (a mix of villas and apartments).

Casa, The Cape Crusader Return to Headlines
Casa Group, a property company based in London, is to begin work in mid 2008 on the construction of a resort on Santiago, one of the ten islands which form the republic of Cape Verde, which lies off the coast of West Africa. The mixed-use development will cover 1,640 hectares of land situated around eight kilometres from the country’s capital Praia and it will offer among other facilities a selection of hotels, villas, spas and golf courses. The cost of construction is a reported £2.39 billion.

Government In Ras al Khaimah Finds A Builder For Hilton Return to Headlines
Hilton Hotels Corporation revealed in January that the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa would have grown by an extra 330 rooms by 2008. The government of the emirate of Ras al Khaimah has awarded Construction Technology Contracting the task of building those rooms. The cost of the work is Dh300 million (US$81.7 million) and is being financed by Arab Bank of Ras al Khaimah.

So Long Langs, Hello Park Inn Return to Headlines
The Langs Hotel in Glasgow will come under the wing of Rezidor Hotel Group on 15 June. On 1 October the 100-room property will be reborn as the Park Inn Glasgow City Centre. The renamed hotel will be the second Park Inn in the Scottish city; Rezidor announced last month that the 124-room Park Inn Springfield Quay would be opening in the first quarter of 2009. It is to be hoped that the Manchester Evening News will carry a report on the impending opening of the Park Inn Manchester; after all, the 252-room hotel does stand opposite the arena that bears the newspaper’s name. The property forms part of Crosby Homes’ Greenquarter Development and is set to open in the third quarter of 2009.

Cova Properties Buys A House In The Country Return to Headlines
Cova Properties did not have to venture too far from its home in Dublin when it purchased Tinakilly Country House. And anyway it was a familiar route that Cova had to travel; the company already owns 200 acres of land that surround the luxury 53-room hotel in Rathnew, Co. Wicklow. Cova paid the Power family close to a reported €10 million for the early nineteenth-century property, which is likely to have its room count raised to 100 in a three-year programme of work.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 31/05/07-07/06/07

InterContinental Hotels Group - Interest rate worries affected the markets. News that the Barclay brothers had increased their stake again did a little to reverse the decline in the company's share price arising from general marketwide concerns.

NH Hoteles - The share price made a late rally after the Ibex-35 committee voted to keep the company in their index.

Whitbread - The share price fell on profit-taking after the company's sale of David Lloyd Leisure.