Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 23 March 2007
Rezidor Flying In Ireland
Mercure Rises By Several Degrees In The UK
It's Australia Versus South Africa In The Hotel World Too
Grupo Jale Acquires Incosol
First Principal In The Principality
CA Immo Forms Hotel Investment Fund
Citywest Group Is Lord Of Lucan
Four Points Points East
No Park Inn Signs Can Be Removed In Belgium
Meinl Gains Strength From Samsun
Kingdom Hotel Investments Reports Its Full-Year Results

Rezidor Flying In Ireland
Dublin Airport Authority last year sold the hotels that constituted the Great Southern portfolio in the Republic of Ireland. Three of the eight properties were at the airports of Dublin, Shannon and Cork and were acquired by CG Hotels. That company has now appointed Rezidor Hotel Group to manage each of the three hotels, which on 2 April will be renamed the Radisson SAS Hotel, Dublin Airport, the Radisson SAS Hotel, Cork Airport, and the Park Inn Shannon Airport. The properties, which have a total of 425 rooms, are Rezidor’s first airport hotels in the Republic of Ireland. HVS Hodges Ward Elliott acted for CG Hotels in securing Rezidor as the operator.

Mercure Rises By Several Degrees In The UK Return to Headlines
When Macdonald Hotels announced in January that it had sold 24 hotels in the UK to Moorfield Real Estate Fund, Macdonald noted that it would be competing for the long-term management contracts on the properties with two international firms. One of the two it transpires was Accor (the other is thought to have been Hilton Hotels Corporation), which will manage 23 of the hotels, a total of 2,236 rooms, under the Mercure brand for an initial period of 20 years. Until the deal was signed Accor had but two Mercure hotels in the UK.

It's Australia Versus South Africa In The Hotel World Too Return to Headlines
In a deal that is expected to complete in July, Stella Group, the largest provider of leisure accommodation in Australia, is to acquire the largest hotel management company in Africa: the South African firm Protea Hotels. Stella, which is part of the investment company MFS, will pay A$255 million (around US$205 million) for a company that operates 126 hotels in 13 countries. The deal also includes Stella’s securing long-term contracts with the senior management of Protea Hotels.

Grupo Jale Acquires Incosol Return to Headlines
Grupo Jale, a Spanish firm with interests in construction, hotels and other properties, is reported to have paid €50 million for Incosol, a five-star resort that since opening in 1973 has become one of the leading spa and wellness centres in Europe. The 192-room resort, which stands in Marbella, in southern Spain, is the eighth property in Grupo Jale's portfolio Hoteles Jale Monasterio.

First Principal In The Principality Return to Headlines
There ought perhaps to be a second St David’s Day in March; the second one to fall on the 16th of the month: the day Rocco Forte Hotels (RFH) announced it would be selling The St David’s Hotel & Spa. RFH will exit Wales on 5 April (the expected completion day) and Principal Hotels will enter. Principal, which has five hotels in England and one in Scotland, is to pay £32.5 million for the 132-room, five-star hotel and will succeed RFH as the manager of the property, which stands on the waterfront in the Welsh capital Cardiff. RFH will use the proceeds from the sale to fund its further expansion in Europe.

CA Immo Forms Hotel Investment Fund Return to Headlines
The real estate investment firm CA Immo International has teamed up with its Austrian compatriot UNIQA Gruppe, an insurance company, to form H1 Hotelfonds: a fund with a life span of seven years that will live to invest up to €700 million in selected hotel projects in central and southeastern Europe, and in the countries that form the CIS. The fund intends ultimately to hold a portfolio of 20 to 25 hotels in the three-star and four-star categories.

Citywest Group Is Lord Of Lucan Return to Headlines
The Citywest Group, from the Republic of Ireland, has not strayed far from home in acquiring its second hotel. The company, which owns the Republic’s largest hotel – the Citywest Hotel, near Dublin – paid an undisclosed sum for the 51-room Finnstown Country House Hotel, a family-owned four-star hotel that stands near the town of Lucan, in Co. Dublin. The Citywest Group reportedly has plans to transform the property into Ireland’s finest boutique hotel. Meanwhile, WG Mitchell Group, an investment firm from Northern Ireland, is reported to have paid Prestwick Hotels £12.5 million for the Langs Hotel, a 100-room, four-star property in the Scottish city of Glasgow.

Four Points Points East Return to Headlines
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has signed a long-term agreement to manage the Four Points by Sheraton Doha. The hotel, which is owned by Almana Group, is set to open in Doha, the capital of Qatar, in January 2009. The 200-room property will be part of a mixed-use business complex occupying some 70,000 m² of land in the Mirqab Al Jadeed district of Doha.

No Park Inn Signs Can Be Removed In Belgium Return to Headlines
Benelux begins with the “Be” of Belgium, and Belgium it is that will “be”gin Benelux’s love affair with the Park Inn brand. Rezidor Hotel Group will manage the 100-room Park Inn Liège Airport, which forms part of the new passenger terminal at the airport in the city of Liège, in eastern Belgium. Interstate Hotels & Resorts is also new to Belgium. The independent hotel management company from the USA has opened the Ghent Marriott Hotel in the city of Ghent. The hotel, which has 150 rooms, is owned by Granit Korenlei.

Meinl Gains Strength From Samsun Return to Headlines
Where do you shop if you want to order a shopping centre? The Turks will tell you that a good place is the island of Jersey, where Meinl European Land has its headquarters. Meinl is in the process of building four shopping centres in Turkey and has just won a contract to build a fifth. Centre number five, which is set to open in 2009 in the port of Samsun, on the Black Sea, comes with a bonus: a 300-room, five-star hotel. Meinl, which is working on the project in partnership with Acteeum Group, intends to sell the finished hotel, which will be developed at a cost of €28 million. In existing shopping centres in Turkey you might spot buyers for Rezidor Hotel Group browsing for pieces to put the finishing touches to the 109 guest rooms that have been added to the Radisson SAS Conference & Airport Hotel, Istanbul. The hotel now has 355 rooms.

Kingdom Hotel Investments Reports Its Full-Year Results Return to Headlines
Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI) has posted its results for the year ending 31 December 2006. The company’s EBITDA rose by 67%, to US$30 million, and its revenue increased by 68%, to US$99 million. As of the end of 2006 KHI had a portfolio of 17 operational hotels. Among the top performers in terms of an increase in RevPAR were the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza, which saw RevPAR for the year rise by 48.8%, to US$213. The Mövenpick Hotel Bur Dubai saw its RevPAR increase by 20.3%, to US$142.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 15/03/07-22/03/07

Whitbread - The share price finished 11% higher on Tuesday on market rumours that a private equity firm might consider making a bid of 2,300p a share.

Millennium & Copthorne - Cazenove said the company was a "materially undervalued asset play".

Sol Meliá - Citigroup raised its target price from €16.9 to €20 and retained its 'Buy' rating.