• Jurys Inn to be sold

The lure of the limited service sector has been demonstrated at the Eastern and Western fringes of Europe during January with plans to sell a leading Western chain for up to Eu1bn and a listing raising Eu130m to develop economy hotels in Eastern Europe.
   Jurys Doyle is understood to have appointed advisers for the sale of its budget brand and Warimpex is listing in Vienna and Warsaw to raise funds as part of its planned Eu500m investment spree.
   The sale of Jurys Inn, which comprises 20 hotels across the UK and Ireland, has been rumoured since the delisting of Jurys in 2005. The auction, to be conducted by Merrill Lynch, is likely to attract significant interest given both the strong brand and property element of the business.
   EBITDA at Jurys Inn is reportedly around the Eu60m mark, meaning that a punchy multiple will see the group fetch close to Eu1bn.
   Meanwhile, shares in Warimpex Finanz und Beteiligungs will see its shares start trading later this week. Warimpex, an Austrian real estate company, said it wants to invest Eu150m in budget hotels during the first phase lasting between three and five years. This amount might rise to between Eu300m and Eu500m.
   Since its foundation in 1982 Warimpex has developed a range of real estate projects including 22 hotels ranging from three to five stars. It is currently the owner or co-owner of 11 luxury and business hotels with a total of more than 2,200 rooms.
   The future focus will be split between building on its existing portfolio of hotels in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary and on developing a chain of two and three star hotels in these existing markets plus Slovakia, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.
   It is currently in negotiations with a budget hotel operator, understood to be Starwood Capital owned Louvre Hotels, with whom it will strike a JV to develop the economy properties.
   Warimpex has previously worked with operators including InterContinental and Starwood Hotels. The main management of its hotel properties, however, is through Vienna International Hotelmanagement, a company that is controlled by the family trusts of the founders of Warimpex.
   Meanwhile, demonstrating that Asia remains a key attraction, Berggruen Hotels is a new venture being created to open 38 boutique budget hotels called Keys over the next five years with equity capital of $100m. US-based Berggruen Holdings, a private investment firm, has appointed Sanjay Sethi as CEO.

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