Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. (NYSE: OEH) today announced the nomination of eight directors for election to the Company’s board of directors at its 2014 annual general meeting of shareholders, including a new independent director nominee, Roeland Vos, 56, a seasoned business executive with diverse board and luxury hospitality operations experience. Furthermore, the Company will propose to shareholders changing the name of its corporate entity from Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. to Belmond Ltd. at the AGM, to be held on June 30, 2014.
Mr. Vos will stand for election at the AGM along with current directors, Harsha V. Agadi, John D. Campbell, chairman Roland Hernandez, Mitchell C. Hochberg, Ruth A. Kennedy, Prudence M. Leith and president and chief executive officer John M. Scott. As previously announced, director and vice-chairman Georg R. Rafael will retire from the board upon the expiration of his term at the 2014 AGM.
“Roeland’s nomination continues our objective of board renewal, and he both complements and strengthens our already talented board of directors, ensuring we have the skills necessary to continue growing our business. He brings a wealth of experience, not only in luxury hotel operations, but also in the development and establishment of new brands, along with expertise in the third party management field,” said Roland Hernandez, chairman, Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.
Mr. Vos said, “I am pleased with this great opportunity to serve on the board of one of the world’s leading luxury travel collections, particularly at this unique moment in the Company’s history as it migrates to the recently announced Belmond brand. I look forward to working alongside my fellow directors as well as John Scott and his team to deliver growth and value for investors as we embark on this new chapter in the Company’s journey.”
Mr. Vos served as president of the Europe, Africa and Middle East division of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. from 2001 to June 2013. He currently acts as an independent consultant to that division and as the independent vice-chairman of the Supervisory Board of Design Hotels AG, a hotel marketing company listed on the Munich stock exchange.
Mr. Vos joined ITT Sheraton, a predecessor of Starwood, in 1982 and held progressive hotel operating and management positions throughout his career, including president, Europe, and senior vice president and area director, Italy and Malta. During his 12 years as president of Europe, Africa and Middle East, the division grew from 127 properties in the region to 243 spread over 60 countries, with another 64 hotels and resorts in the development pipeline.
Commenting on Mr. Rafael’s retirement, John Scott, president and chief executive officer, said, “Georg is one of the most respected hoteliers in the industry and, on behalf of the board and management team, I would like to extend our thanks for the significant contribution he has made to the development and evolution of the Company during his 12-year tenure.”
Following the well-received launch of its new brand name, Belmond, in March 2014, the Company will seek approval from shareholders at the AGM to amend its legal name to Belmond Ltd. in order to align the Company's corporate identity with that of its primary luxury brand. If the name change is approved, the Company intends to change the trading symbol of its class A common shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange from OEH to BEL on July 28, 2014.
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