Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 4 May 2007
Travelodge Gets Prestbury Juices Flowing Again
Barwa Real Estate Investigates Rosebud
Arrival Of The Kingdom Of Sheba
Desert Island Discussion
Bahrain Islamic Bank Takes Capital To Mecca
The Regent Emirates Pearl To Be Fully Formed In 2010
Kempinski At Cavo Sidero
Tulips On The Card At York And Doncaster
Scandic With A Partial Accent
A Welcome On The Hillside For Clayton Hotels
The Legacy Of Lytham
Millennium & Copthorne's First-Quarter Waxes Brightly

Travelodge Gets Prestbury Juices Flowing Again
Travelodge, the budget hotel chain, has struck a sale and leaseback deal worth £128 million. Property group Prestbury has acquired 17 UK hotels that Travelodge will take on leases of between 25 and 35 years’ duration. Travelodge will use £100 million of the money raised to repay debt and will invest the remainder in its business. This is the second time in three years that Prestbury has come knocking on Travelodge’s door. In 2004 the company paid £400 million for 135 Travelodge hotels in a similar deal.

Barwa Real Estate Investigates Rosebud Return to Headlines
Barwa Luxembourg, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Qatari company Barwa Real Estate, has signed a partnership agreement with Rosebud Hotels Holding (also based in Luxembourg and formerly known as Richemond Hotels Holding) and the Swiss bank Banque de Patrimoines Privés Genève. Under the terms of the agreement the three parties will invest SFr150 million (around €90 million) in the refurbishment of a total of seven hotels shared between Switzerland and Belgium. Barwa intends to stay in the partnership for no more than three years.

Arrival Of The Kingdom Of Sheba Return to Headlines
Fairmont Heritage Place, Kingdom of Sheba will have the honour of being the first private residence club in the Middle East when it opens in 2010. The club, consisting of 50 homes that are each divided into saleable fractions of one-tenth, forms part of the Kingdom of Sheba development. This mixed-use resort, conceived by IFA Hotels & Resorts and to be managed by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, occupies a portion of the crescent of The Palm, Jumeirah development off the coast of the emirate of Dubai.

Desert Island Discussion Return to Headlines
Tourism Development & Investment Company is to work with the government of the emirate of Abu Dhabi to create a tourism development called Desert Islands. A total of 4,000 hotel rooms will be shared among eight islands in the Gulf: Şir Banī Yās, Dalmā and a nearby group of six known collectively as the Discovery Islands. The construction of the first hotel, a five-star property with 64 rooms, is already under way on Şir Banī Yās and it should be open before the end of 2007. The “gateway” to the development will be at Jebel Dhanna on the western coast of the United Arab Emirates and a beachfront hotel of 150 rooms will be built there. The projected cost of the Desert Islands development is more than US$3 billion and the first phase of the work should be complete in 2010.

Bahrain Islamic Bank Takes Capital To Mecca Return to Headlines
Bahrain Islamic Bank is to work with its compatriot Capital Partners, a holding company with an interest in real estate investment, on the establishment of a fund that will invest in the development of hotels in the cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The pair want to have 7,500 rooms under their control within the next five years and they will begin by building a 624-room, five-star hotel.

The Regent Emirates Pearl To Be Fully Formed In 2010 Return to Headlines
The glass of a 47-storey hotel in the emirate of Abu Dhabi will reflect the smiling face of Rezidor Hotel Group when the company comes to open the property in 2010. The Regent Emirates Pearl, which will offer 365 rooms and 70 furnished apartments, is part of a complex owned by Atlas Group (UAE) that is being realised in a joint venture with Tourism Development & Investment Company.

Kempinski At Cavo Sidero Return to Headlines
Kempinski Hotels is to manage one of the five five-star hotels that are to be built at the Cavo Sidero development on the Mediterranean island of Crete. Minoan Group, a developer of leisure resorts, revealed in February that it had been granted permission to begin work this September on a resort costing €1.2 billion – the largest ever investment made in a tourist project in Greece. Kempinski’s 190-room hotel, which is due to open in 2010, will contribute to the total of 7,000 beds that Cavo Sidero will provide in a mix of hotels, villas and apartments.

Tulips On The Card At York And Doncaster Return to Headlines
Golden Tulip UK (GTUK) will open another three hotels in England in autumn next year in a development deal costing a reported £40 million. Two of the hotels are bound for Yorkshire. The 126-room Golden Tulip York will form part of the new Barbican Centre complex in the city of York and the 122-room Tulip Inn Doncaster, in the town of Doncaster, is to be a feature of the £12 million High Fisher Gate scheme conceived by Lazarus Properties. Down south, in West Sussex, the 204-room Tulip Inn Gatwick will be built on the Manor Royal Business Park in Crawley, two miles from Gatwick airport. Meanwhile, GTUK’s parent Golden Tulip Hospitality has been celebrating the official opening in Germany of the Tulip Inn Düsseldorf Arena, a 288-room hotel that forms part of the LTU Arena in the city of Düsseldorf.

Scandic With A Partial Accent Return to Headlines
The private equity firm EQT recently completed the purchase of the Scandic Hotels chain from Hilton Hotels Corporation for €833 million. EQT has invited investment fund Accent Equity 2003 to acquire, for an undisclosed sum, a stake of 17% in the chain, which has a total of 132 hotels. EQT has also appointed Vagn Sorensen to be chairman of the board of directors of Scandic Hotels.

A Welcome On The Hillside For Clayton Hotels Return to Headlines
Gwrych Castle in Abergele, North Wales, has had its ramparts assailed before with plans to turn it into a five-star hotel. However, those plans, conceived by US businessman Nick Tavaglione, who purchased the nineteenth-century castle in December 1989, had cold water poured on them (there being no boiling oil to hand, presumably). But the crumbling Grade I listed castle could be prepared to lower its drawbridge to plans devised by Clayton Hotels, which has purchased the property from Mr Tavaglione for £850,000. The company, part of the Yorkshire-based construction group Clayton Homes, wants to spend £6 million on converting the castle into a five-star country house hotel with around 90 rooms. Clayton Hotels expects the project, which is subject to planning approval, to take two to three years to complete.

The Legacy Of Lytham Return to Headlines
Legacy Hotels and Resorts has received permission to begin work this summer on the construction of a 90-room, four-star hotel in the resort of Lytham St Anne’s, in Lancashire, northwest England, in partnership with Prestigious Retirement Villages. The hotel is expected to open in autumn 2008. The two companies are already involved in the construction of a 50-room, four-star hotel near the city of Lancaster and are working together on a project in the Spanish resort of Marbella. Meanwhile, down in the county of Avon, in southwest England, von Essen Hotels has paid a group of private US investors close to a reported £6 million for Hunstrete House. The 25-room hotel, which stands near the village of Chelwood, is von Essen’s twenty-fourth property in the UK.

Millennium & Copthorne's First-Quarter Waxes Brightly Return to Headlines
Millennium & Copthorne’s results for its first-quarter ending 31 March 2007 were in line with the company’s expectations. Headline pre-tax profit was 60.0% up on the previous year’s comparable, at £18.4 million, and revenue rose by 9.0% to finish on £153.1 million. Chairman Kwek Leng Beng noted that market conditions in London, New York and Singapore had been particularly buoyant. RevPAR in London rose by 15.9%, to £72.14, whereas the rise in New York was 11.4%; RevPAR there finished on £102.65. RevPAR across the company’s portfolio of 111 hotels was 8.5% higher, at £47.20.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 26/04/07-03/05/07

InterContinental Hotels Group - The Barclay brothers raised their stake.

Millennium & Copthorne - HSBC retained its 'Underweight' rating but raised its target price from 615p to 635p.

Sol Meliá - Deutsche Bank gave a 'Sell' rating and raised its target price from €13.5 to €16.2.