Group MENATEP Launches Hotel Program in Russia with Sabre Projects, Marriott

MOSCOW, Feb. 24 Group MENATEP subsidiary, Trust and Investment Bank, and Sabre Projects Limited today unveiled a joint project to develop economy and mid-market hotels throughout Russia, operated by the major international hotel management company Marriott.

Group MENATEP This multi-national project will meet a fast-growing demand for mid-market hotels across the country. Beginning with two or three cities at the outset, potential sites are currently under evaluation while the terms and conditions of the contract are being finalized.

According to Dmitri Konov, managing director of Corporate Finance for Trust and Investment Bank, the involvement of industry experts, such as Sabre and Marriott, combined with Trust and Investment Bank's financial expertise and knowledge of the Russian market will result in a swift and efficient roll out of the program. The project's scope and potential for growth will allow for additional investors to participate, he continued.

"The project will fill a clear gap in the market in Russia," said David Brown, the managing director of Sabre Projects Limited. "In addition to addressing this need and providing quality service to the Russian consumer and the growing numbers of foreign visitors, the project represents a significant entry point to this market sector in Russia."

While Trust and Investment Bank will manage the project, the initial investment of US $30-40 million will be provided by GM Investment & Co, a wholly owned subsidiary of Group MENATEP. GM Investment & Co intends to remain a substantial stakeholder in the project, but is considering ways to involve additional investors acting through Trust and Investment Bank.

Trust and Investment Bank is a leading Russian investment and merchant bank, and is the fourth most profitable Russian bank as of the end of 2002. GM Investment & Co is an asset management company wholly owned by Group MENATEP. Group MENATEP ( ) is an international diversified holding company that controls assets in excess of US $20 billion.

Sabre Projects Limited is a professional real estate development management company based in Moscow. The company will be undertaking general development and construction management for the project.

Marriott International has nearly 2,500 lodging properties located in 50 U.S. states and 64 countries and territories.

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