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The Savoy was a favourite rendezvous for brokers, bankers, bounders and Hollywood's best. And, for a time, it was a home away from home for the artist Claude Monet, stars Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra, and Sir Winston Churchill.

Ladbroke to test new 3-star hotels in Brazil

LADBROKE, the hotels and gaming leisure group, is considering developing a chain of three-star hotels in conjunction with joint venture partners, writes Nigel Cope.

Shares slide as Vaux denies takeover talks

VAUX'S SHARES slumped 11 per cent yesterday, wiping pounds 60m from the pubs-to-hotels group's market value after the company denied that it was in takeover talks.

Investment: Impressive Millennium

IS MILLENNIUM & Copthorne in denial? Investors are convinced that the entire hotel sector is facing a slowdown as a result of the Asian crisis and the strong pound. But the hotel group remains stubbornly bullish.

Win a holiday to the Scilly Isles to see the total eclipse of the sun

INDEPENDENT EYEWITNESS COMPETITION

Lonrho sells hotel chain

Lonrho has sold its Princess Hotels chain to Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts for US$540m (pounds 330m). The price includes $71m of debt and Lonrho will use $56m of the proceeds to repay the balance of the division's debt. Lonrho shares rose 16p to 307p. Meanwhile Lonrho Africa, the trading interests demerged from Lonrho last month, revealed losses of pounds 2.3m including pounds 4.9m of exceptional charges in the six months to 31 March. But the shares rose 4p to 80p after the company confirmed a mystery consortium has acquired over 4 per cent of the shares.

Investment Column: Clouds appear on Granada's horizon

IT'S BEEN a while since Granada, that bustling hub of corporate activity, reported a set of figures that could be compared with those of the previous period. But yesterday's interim results, which showed pretax profits up 13 per cent to pounds 274m on turnover up 12 per cent at pounds 1.9bn, were the least distorted that the media to hotels conglomerate has reported for a while.

Granada seeks hotel alliances overseas

GRANADA, the leisure conglomerate, is in talks with hotel operators in the US and the Far East about forming a series of alliance which would allow it to reach a new range of customers.

Buy me: Antique handbags

From Emma Noble to Liz glittery knickers Hurley, premiers and opening nights look more like a scene from a Russ Meyer film. Everyone rocks up in see-through slips and negligees and it's been left up to the accessories to lend individuality to their wearers. Enter then, the handbag - no longer a mere receptacle but a statement of intent.

The Investment Column: Boom is back for Stakis

THE HOTEL business is always shifting from feast to famine and back again, and the City's perception of the sector tends to suffer from the same mood swings. After a boom in 1996 which spawned a glut of flotations, hotels spent last year in the doldrums. This year, hotel groups such as Stakis are suddenly in favour. The Scottish group's share price has risen by over 50 per cent since January.

Letter: Floating motor

ACCORDING to your article "Booze cruise fears for QE2" (7 April), the QE2 is about to be turned into a motel. Where will they put all the cars, and will the Captain have a parking space reserved just for him?

Legal battle costs Queens Moat pounds 3.6m

QUEENS Moat Houses, the hotelier embroiled in a lengthy legal battle with its former management team, said the case had cost the group pounds 3.6m last year on top of a pounds 1.1m legal bill in 1996.

Savoy shares slip amid growing doubts over sale

SHARES in the Savoy group fell 135p to 1665p yesterday amid growing doubts about a pounds 500m-plus sale of the company, writes Andrew Yates.

Savoy's sparkle set to raise asking price

THE SAVOY HOTEL group, the subject of a furious bidding war, yesterday burst back into the black, announcing pre-tax profits of pounds 22.2m in 1997 compared to a loss of pounds 24.3m in the previous year.

Dispute over Savoy sale

Dispute over Savoy sale

The Investment Column: Thistle axes 30 provincial hotels

THISTLE HOTELS is a prime example of how not to float on the stock market. Ever since the group came to the market in October 1996, it has proved a huge disappointment. Not only did it commit the cardinal sin for a newly quoted group by consistently missing analysts' profit forecasts, but it has continued to lag behind its peers in the hotel sector.
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