Azure Properties Appoints Scandic Hotels CEO to Strengthen and Expand the Hotel Investment Practice

Azure Properties, one of Europe’s leading hotel investment groups, is pleased to announce that Frank Fiskers, currently President and CEO of Scandic Hotels, the Nordic region’s top hotel and hospitality company, will join the company as a partner as of 1st September 2010 to head up and rapidly develop its dedicated hotel real estate investment practice.

Azure Properties, headquartered in Luxembourg, with offices in the UK and Germany, is a privately held specialist hotel investment firm that over the years have successfully acquired, managed and divested a number of premier hotel properties. Indeed, today Azure announced that it has signed a deal with Manchester Airports Group to manage and operate a new 216 bedroom hotel to be built at East Midlands Airport.

Azure sees excellent opportunities to assist banks, institutions and private equity firms to manage, acquire and dispose of their hotel assets. For many financial institutions hotels have become an important asset class and, as a result of the recent financial crisis, banks across Europe, including some of the UK’s largest banks, have become owners of large portfolios of hotels, which many likely lack the expertise or experience to manage.

Over the past, close to ten years, private equity firms have acquired some Euro 32.5 billion in hotel assets. Institutional investors bought a further Euro 9.7 billion of hotel assets over the same period.

Given its specialist hotel investment experience Azure believes it can significantly assist banks and institutions to extract the best value from their portfolios, and give informed advice in restructuring or disposing of hotel assets. Azure disposed of 23 of its hotels for some Euro 600 million in 2006 and 2007, ahead of a steep fall in hotel values and the worst of the financial crisis. Also, last year, Azure completed its biggest sale of a hotel in Europe, with its Euro 155 million disposal of the Hamburg Raddisson.

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Frank Fiskers, 48 and a Danish national, has been CEO of Scandic Hotels since 2007. Before that he held a number of senior executive positions with Rezidor and also Hilton.