To Enhance Value; Four Year Strategic Plan Includes
$20 million in Renovating Several Hotels
|TEL AVIV, Israel, March 23, 2005 - Sheraton Moriah Israel ("Sheraton
Moriah" or the "Company"), a leading Israeli hotel chain, announced today
that its shareholders' - Koor Industries ("Koor") (NYSE: KOR) 55% shareholding,
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide ("Starwood") (NYSE:HOT) 25% shareholding
and Hapoalim Assets, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank Hapoalim (TASE:
POLI), 20% shareholding, have developed, together with the Company, a new
strategic plan for the Company for the next four years.
In 2004, Sheraton Moriah Israel, Israel's largest international hotel chain, generated an operating profit, a 24% increase in revenues, an 18% increase in occupancy rates, a 10% increase in prices and a 98% increase in EBITDA.
The new strategic plan, aimed at leveraging on the Company's position as Israel's largest international hotel chain, the steady improvement in Israel's tourism industry, the Company's improved results and the overall optimistic outlook for the industry going ahead, will include the following measures on the part of the shareholders -
In addition, the Company's board of directors recently signed an MOU with Mr. Yoav Igra, the Company's 50% partner in the Herods Hotel Complex, which includes Herods Vitalis, Herods Palace and Herods Forum, terminating all disputes, with a view to further leveraging on the Herods Complex' position as the leading resort hotel in Eilat.
Adv. Ron Feinstein, Chairman of Sheraton Moriah Israel, commented: "Following the crisis in the local tourism industry and the local hospitality industry, the Company took substantial measures to maintain the chains leading position. We are pleased that the Company's shareholders are showing their appreciation and support of the measures taken by the Company, its management and employees, by reaching the above decision and setting the Company on a new course. We plan on investing approximately $20 million in renovating and upgrading several of the hotels, and identifying new management projects"
Roeland Vos, President of Starwood EAME, commented: "We decided to continue to invest and support Sheraton Moriah as a result of our belief in the Israeli tourism product, the clear indications of change in this field, mainly in the inbound tourism, and out of appreciation to our Israeli partners - Koor and Bank Hapoalim."
Jonathan Kolber, Chief Executive Officer of Koor Industries, said: "The
change in the local political environment, the significant improvement
in Koor's results and the initial indications of recovery in the local
tourism industry created this decision aimed at giving Sheraton Moriah
the tools to develop its activities with a view to enhancing the value
of our holding in the Company. We are no longer seeking to sell our stake
in the Company, and will continue to work closely with our partners, and
the management of
Dan Dankner, Chairman of Hapoalim Assets, added: "We are encouraged by the positive changes in Israel's tourism industry and continue to support the Company as Israel's largest international hotel chain".
Eli Gonen, CEO of Sheraton Moriah Israel concluded: "We are encouraged by the improvement in Israel's tourism industry, the steady improvement in the Company's financial performance and the initial optimism surrounding Israel's tourism industry as a whole. Assuming the local tourism market continues to improve, the new equity structure will help improve the Company's financial results and will give us the necessary tools to leverage on the expected growth in the tourism market".
About Sheraton Moriah Israel
About Koor Industries (owns 55% of Sheraton Moriah Israel)
About Bank Hapoalim (owns 20% of Sheraton Moriah Israel)
|Also See:||Starwood Invests in Israel's Moria Hotels Chain / Jan 1999|
|Red Sea Resort Opens in Israel: Herods Sheraton Resort Eilat Offers New Theme Hotel, Convention Center and Spa / Nov 1998|