• M&C hires new CEO and signs more sporting venues

Millennium & Copthorne has hired a South Africa based financier as its new CEO. Peter Papadimitropoulos, nicknamed Papas, is currently a non-executive director at Peermont Global, a Johannesburg-listed company that operators hotels, resorts and casinos.
   The 38-years old, who trained as an accountant before working with JP Morgan and ING Barings, had previously been best known as managing director of private equity outfit Aquila Growth.
   M&C chairman Kwek Leng Beng said he expected Papas to make a \considerable contribution to the group's future growth\.
   A key challenge for Papas is realising the value locked-up in M&C's property portfolio. Taking advantage of the UK's and continental Europe's nascent REIT legislation is a hotly tipped prospect.
   Meanwhile, M&C has signed heads of terms with UK racecourse operator Arena Leisure to become the preferred operator of a new hotel at Doncaster Racecourse. The 120-room property is due to open in autumn 2008.
   In addition, M&C is to operate a 149-room hotel at Sheffield United football club's ground. This hotel, also due to open in autumn 2008, is the third football ground hotel in M&C's portfolio as it has one at Chelsea in London and one at the Madejski Stadium in Reading.

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