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Worldwide briefing

04 June 2004

Essential news from around the world . . .

JJW Hotels buys two boutique hotels in Paris for €53.5m
JJW Hotels and Resorts has bought two boutique hotels in Paris from Pacific Investments for a combined €53.5m (£37.5m). The two four-star hotels are the 70-bedroom Hotel Balzac and the 37-bedroom Hotel de Vigny (which is the only Relais & Chateau hotel in Paris). The property agent was HVS Hodges Ward Elliott. JJW Hotels owns and manages hotels in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

New HEI Hospitality private equity fund makes first purchase
HEI Hospitality, which owns or operates 20 full-service hotels across the USA, has bought the 469-bedroom Sheraton Music City hotel in Nashville, Tennessee from McGavock Associates for an undisclosed sum. It is the first property to be bought by HEI Hospitality Fund, a newly-created $275m (£149.5m) private equity fund set up to buy $800m (£435m) of hotel assets over the next 24-36 months. It will be targeting hotels with 200 to 500 bedrooms in the top 50 US markets.

IHG expands partnership in New Zealand
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a joint venture agreement with the Carter Group of New Zealand to buy the Parkroyal Queenstown on the South Island for NZ$20m (£6.8m). The hotel will undergo a NZ$6m (£2m) refurbishment in May and June 2005 before reopening as the Holiday Inn Queenstown. IHG already runs the Carter Group's Holiday Inn Christchurch and Centra Christchurch (which will be rebranded the Holiday Inn City Centre Christchurch by the end of the year).

MeriStar to buy the Marriott Irvine for $92.5m
MeriStar Hospitality Corporation, one of the largest hotel real estate investment trusts in the USA, is to buy the 484-bedroom Marriott Irvine hotel in Southern California for $92.5m (£50m). The deal is expected to close within the next 30 days. Marriott International will manage the hotel, which includes five food and beverage outlets, more than 30,000 square feet of meeting and banqueting space and a fitness centre. MeriStar owns 78 up-market hotels in North America.

Mandarin Oriental makes Paris debut with Hôtel Royal Monceau
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group made its Paris debut this month when it took over the management of the Hôtel Royal Monceau, a grand palace hotel that opened in 1928. The 203-bedroom hotel with two Michelin-starred restaurants will be renovated and renamed the Royal Monceau Mandarin-Oriental, Paris when the work is completed in 2005.

Crowne Plaza to make first appearance in Phuket this December
LaSalle Investment Management has selected InterContinental Hotels Group to manage the Karon Villa and Royal Wing resort in Phuket, Thailand. The resort, which has 210 bedrooms and 150 villas, is undergoing a $20m (£10.9m) refurbishment and will reopen in December as the Crowne Plaza Karon Beach Phuket. It will be the first Crowne Plaza in Phuket and InterContinental's seventh property in Thailand.

May sales best for four years at Burger King US restaurants
Burger King Corporation has announced that sales in its US venues during May were the highest it has reported in the four years since November 1999. Like-for-like sales grew by 10.1% at company-owned restaurants and by 7.2% at franchise sites.

IHG opens 23 new hotels in the Americas

by Angela Frewin

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