Last Updated on Thursday, 3 September, 2020 at 1:01 pm by Andre Camilleri
International Hotel Investments plc is listed on the Malta Stock Exchange and carries on the business of an investment company in connection with the ownership, development and operation of hotels, residential and commercial real estate. The company owns a number of investments in subsidiary and associate companies through which it furthers the business of the Group.
Described hereunder are important events in the development of the Group’s business since FY2016.
Corinthia Grand Astoria Hotel Brussels (opening 2023)
On 11 April 2016, NLI Holdings Ltd, the owner of the Corinthia Hotel and Residential Development in London, acquired the Grand Hotel Astoria in Brussels for £11m and a deferred interest free payment of €500,000 payable two years from opening of the reconstructed and refurbished hotel, through the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of the Belgian hotel-owning company, Hotel Astoria S.A. The acquisition, which also included the purchase of an empty land plot adjoining the listed hotel building and four vacant town houses at the rear of the original hotel, was originated and executed by CDI Limited, IHI’s development company. QPM Limited, another IHI subsidiary, was appointed by CDI Limited as project manager to coordinate and supervise the reconstruction process.
Once complete, the hotel will be operated by Corinthia Hotels Limited. A planning permit was issued in December 2017 for the restoration of the historic ground floor and façade of the original hotel, as well as the reconstruction of all upper floors, adjoining land and town houses.
The permit is a major gain in additional volumes and floors, for a total built-up area of 16,000m2 . The new hotel will have 125 luxury bedrooms and suites. It will offer unrivalled amenities for the city of Brussels including a fully restored grand ballroom, an 850m2 spa, various dining venues, boutique meetings’ facilities and high-end retail shops.
Development of the Corinthia hotel in Brussels has been delayed due to intensive re-design and negotiations with various contractors with the objective to achieve a project price in line with the Group’s targets. Discussions with a selected contractor are now nearing completion and the company expects to be in a position to award a main contract as soon as it is in the Group’s interest to proceed with works on site.
Project costs are being financed out of an equity injection of €20m, a bank loan facility of €45m granted by ARES Bank of Spain and €10m from each of LAFICO and the Issuer, the ultimate shareholders of NLI Group (which shall be on-lent by NLI to its fully-owned subsidiary and the hotel-owning company, Hotel Astoria S.A.).
The Issuer’s contribution of €10m was raised from a bond issue pursuant to a prospectus dated 4 March 2019.
Corinthia Meydan Beach Hotel (opening 2021)
In May 2016, CHL signed a technical services and pre-opening services agreement with Meydan Group of Dubai, to assist Meydan’s architects, engineers and consultants in the planning and development of a 55-storey 360-room luxury hotel and residences to be operated under the Corinthia® brand on Jumeirah Beach in Dubai, UAE.
CHL has also entered into a management agreement in respect of this hotel for a 20-year term commencing as of the scheduled hotel opening date in 2021.
Acquisition of QPM Limited
On 12 September 2016, IHI acquired from Corinthia Palace Hotel Company Limited the remaining 80% share in QP – a provider of architectural, engineering, management and technical construction services. The cash consideration of €4.6m was paid partly from the net proceeds of the June 2016 bond issue. The share purchase agreement includes future additional conditional payments that may be or may become due to CPHCL and which, had they been crystallised at the point in time of the acquisition date, would have enhanced the value of QP, resulting in a higher purchase consideration.
Corinthia Hotel Bucharest (opening 2022)
In March 2018, CHL entered into a management agreement with the owners of the property, once re-developed, of the former Grand Hotel du Bulevard as the Corinthia Hotel Bucharest. Subsequent to the above signing, QP has since been engaged by the property owners to manage the development in all technical aspects. Design development of the regeneration of this listed property has commenced and works are expected to be completed in 2022. The reconstructed hotel will feature 33 suites as well as the fully restored Grand Ballroom and various dining and leisure venues.
Corinthia Palace Hotel Attard
In April 2018, IHI acquired the Corinthia Palace Hotel business in Attard through a new formed subsidiary from its ultimate parent, CPHCL. The operating results and assets and liabilities of the acquired business are consolidated with the Group as from 1 April 2018.
Shareholding in GHA Holdings Limited
In 2019, CHL acquired a 10% shareholding in GHA Holdings Limited. The other shareholders of GHA comprise Kempinski, Omni, Oracle, Pan Pacific and Minor Hotels. GHA launched the Discovery programme in 2010 as its in-house loyalty programme for independent hotel brands. Discovery members enrol through discoveryloyalty.com or via a member brand, to which they then remain associated for all future stays.
Within GHA, CHL operates Corinthia Discovery, a loyalty programme built around the global infrastructure created by GHA and Ultra Travel Collection, allowing members to benefit from loyalty to Corinthia but equally Corinthia benefits from the loyalty of members of other member hotel companies, thus allowing brands to retain their own loyal customers, as well as attract new business from members enrolled by other brands within the GHA.
Corinthia Hotel & Residences Moscow (opening 2023)
In February 2019, IHI acquired a 10% minority share for $5.5m in a company formed with a consortium of investors to acquire a landmark property at 10, Tverskaya Street, Moscow.
The acquisition is being made with a view to developing the site, having a developable gross area of 43,000m2, into a mixed-use real estate project including a luxury boutique 54-room Corinthia hotel, upmarket residential serviced apartments for re-sale, high-end retail and commercial outlets and underground parking.
The asset is located on a prestigious boulevard in Moscow close to Red Square in a highly popular shopping, cultural and business location, as well as a luxury hotspot with other competing luxury brands, all in close proximity of each other. Works on foundations and excavations are underway and in their early stages.
Corinthia Hotel Rome (opening 2022)
The Group, through an investment fund, is redeveloping a hotel property in Rome which on completion, will be managed by CHL under a lease agreement. The property is the former seat of the Central Bank of Italy in Parliament Square. Plans are in hand for the conversion of the 7,500m2 building into a luxury destination, featuring a number of suites and top of the range bedrooms. The luxurious public areas include two restaurants, bars and lounges, all wrapped around a central garden. The hotel also has a spa and other amenities. CDI is contracted to deliver the project, while CHI is the operator and lessee.
Corinthia Hotel Residences Doha (opening 2022)
CHL has signed an agreement with United Development Company, the Qatari master developer of The Pearl in Doha, to manage and operate a luxury Corinthia hotel to be built in UDC’s newest flagship real estate development, Gewan Island.
The Corinthia Hotel Doha will be built on a site having an area of 13,000m2 and will feature 110 guestrooms, a 1,000-person banquet hall, several restaurants and a luxurious spa facility. The development will also include luxury branded villas, a golf course and a beach club, all to be managed by CHL.
Hal Ferh Site (planning stage)
The Group has commenced a process to revise its plans for the Hal Ferh site at Golden Bay. A public consultation is underway to re-zone the site allowing residential use, besides tourism. Subject to permits, the Group intends developing a flagship low-rise, extensively landscaped resort and residential project, set within existing restrictions on building heights, volumes and footprints.
During 2019, the Issuer acquired the entire issued share capital and the businesses of Corinthia Caterers Limited and Catermax Limited from Corinthia Palace Hotel Company Limited.