Welcome to this edition of Hospitality Matters, our regular bulletin for the hotels industry. This edition is being launched as we make the final preparations for our International Hotel Investment Forum to be held in Berlin from 3rd to 5th March 2014 for the European hotel investment sector.
Berlin is one of the few occasions we get to really showcase the true strength of CMS: its extensive international presence. It is rare for us to have an opportunity to come together from a dozen different countries as a sector-focused group of lawyers and work together to present ourselves to our clients and our contacts in the industry.
This is an exciting time for CMS. Since the last edition of this bulletin, we have added offices in Lisbon, Geneva, Istanbul and Dubai, all of which are interesting markets for our clients in the hotels sector. In the UK, we are merging with the pre-eminent Scottish firm, Dundas & Wilson in May 2014, which will in particular strengthen our links with some of our key banking clients who are active in this sector.
At the same time, hotel transactional activity is picking up and CMS acted on over €2 billion of hotel transactions in Europe during the course of 2013. 2014 is already busy, in particular with a number of large distressed debt transactions coming out of the Irish and Spanish banks. We are seeing M&A activity from assets being brought to market that are driven out of distressed debt transactions that took place in Q4 2013.
So our view is that there is a strong pipeline of M&A, financing and restructuring activity in the hotels sector coming for 2014.