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As positivity increases in terms of COVID recovery, investors and owners diverge greatly in Europe’s hotel trading.

The idea that hotel assets and portfolios are hot commodities in Europe, the Middle East and Asia is not exactly the reality on the ground, notably because of the huge divide in thinking between those who have the assets and those who might want them.

Cyrille Gogny-Goubert, partner in the real estate department at legal firm Watson Farley & Williams, said while sellers are expecting high prices for their hotel assets, investors are expecting bargains.

“Also, there is no revenue, and revenue is a wonderful way of judging the value of a hotel, so we are in a middle ground,” he said during a webinar organized by his firm, titled “Evolving M&A: Can Investors and Brands Keep Up?”

He added there is no reason 2021 should be any better than 2020 for hotels in Europe, which will further reflect on prices.

He said there has been little activity in mergers and acquisitions so far this year, but noted owner-operator Westmont’s March 2021 deal with real estate investment manager Invesco Real Estate to operate and co-invest in a portfolio of 13 IHG Hotels & Resorts’ properties in Germany and The Netherlands.

Mergers and acquisitions will ramp up differently according to destination, as trading remains lukewarm due to government restrictions on international travel, said Katherine Doggrell, the moderator of the panel and co-founder of public relations company NewDog.

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