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MBI International Finalizes $102 million Luxury Hotel Acquisition in France

Hotel Balzac, Paris
Hotel Balzac, Paris

JJW signs Parisian hotel deal marking 15th anniversary in French market. Acquisitions include De Vigny and Balzac boutique hotels for $65 million

Paris, 3 June 2004: MBI International, a $3 billion multinational with strong interests in the Middle East and Europe, has finalized a $102 million luxury hotel acquisition in France through its JJW Hotels & Resorts group, which includes two boutique hotels in the heart of Paris. The purchase marks the 15th anniversary of JJW's operations in France.

"We are very proud to have both the De Vigny and Balzac join JJW's portfolio. These are unique properties that offer the highest standards of excellence to a sophisticated clientele," said MBI International's Chairman and CEO Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber. "As boutique hotels, they form part of a growing, high value added sector of the travel industry and one in which we intend to further expand our investments." He noted that JJW is consolidating its European holdings and targeting the higher end of the business and leisure travel market.

The acquisition, negotiated and concluded by Freddie Shaibi, Managing Director and member of the executive board of JJW and his team, was acquired from Sir John Beckwith's London based Pacific PLC, through agents HVS Hodges Ward Elliott.

Their acquisition brings the number of JJW four star properties within Paris's prestigious 'golden triangle' to five, complementing the Amarante Champs Elysee, the Amarante Beau Manoir and the Amarante Arc de Triomphe and brings the total number of JJW four star rooms in Paris to over 250.

The recently renovated De Vigny hotel was built in 1980 and has 26 luxury rooms and 11 suites. It was decorated by the well-known designer Nina Campbell and provides one of the highest rated dining experiences in Paris, the Baretto Art Deco bar and restaurant. The De Vigny is the only Relais & Chateaux hotel in Paris.

Originally built in 1910 and recently renovated in 2000 the Balzac hotel has a rich history and some of the most sought after suites in Paris. The hotel features 69 luxury rooms, including 14 executive suites and a special Royal Suite with its own terrace overlooking Parisian rooftops and the Eiffel Tower. It also houses the world famous Pierre Gagnaire restaurant on its ground floor.

"This latest acquisition builds on JJW's already strong portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts that includes the Grand Hotel Vienna and Royal Algarve resort in Portugal," said Mohamed Bin Isa Al Jaber. "This transaction is indicative of our group philosophy which aims to replicate market dynamics by adapting to areas of high growth across both Europe and the Middle East." He pointed out that MBI International's success is based on the ability to identify and capitalize on investment opportunities in challenging markets that offer high returns. "The luxury hotel sector fits this definition perfectly," he said.

Editor's Note:

MBI International and Partners is the global group that combines the companies owned by Arab entrepreneur Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber. The group has an asset base worth $3 billion. It employs 9,000 people and operates in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Kuwait and across Europe.

MBI International and Partners comprises three key entities: JJW Hotels and Resorts, which operates in the hospitality industry; AJWA Group for Food Industries, one of the largest agribusinesses in the Middle East; and, Jadawel International, a major real estate development company that owns and operates exclusive luxury residential compounds in the region.

JJW Hotels owns and manages hotels and resorts in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, with a significant operational presence in France, UK, Portugal, Austria and Egypt.

Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber is directly involved in many charitable and educational activities and actively promotes the business and cultural interests of the Arab world. His desire to provide practical assistance to the community led him to offer scholarship programmes to deserving students at some of the world's finest educational institutions. Founding Sponsor of London Middle East Institute at the London based School of African and Oriental Studies, he has also given a generous donation to fund a new building at the Jeddah-based Dar El Hekmah College, an English-language, private sector women's liberal arts college.