The Rezidor Hotel Group's rising, upper upscale star reveals its true colours …

Radisson SAS, one of the world's most innovative, fast growing, contemporary
hotel brands, is changing its name to Radisson Blu.

This small, but significant name change marks the latest step forward in the
remarkable Radisson SAS success story and reflects the natural end of Radisson's
links with the SAS Group following Rezidor's IPO back in November 2006. 

Radisson SAS was created in 1994 when SAS International Hotels (SIH) joined
forces with the Radisson brand for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
The resultant new, highly individual hotel brand grew rapidly and won a world
class reputation for innovation, design and service concepts: many more recent
Radisson SAS hotels are “new breeds” - contemporary flagship properties with
iconic architecture and bold design solutions - that have become increasingly
synonymous with the brand.

The name change was announced today, Wednesday 4 February 2009, at the Grand
Opening party of the first Radisson Blu: the stunning Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich

Rezidor President and CEO, Kurt Ritter, said: “We're extremely proud to hoist
the Radisson Blu flag. After many, very successful years with SAS, we are eager
to start cruising high on our own. And we'll fly the flag in an ever growing
number of destinations.”

Radisson Blu's Senior Vice President and COO, Thorsten Kirschke, explained that
the change from SAS to Blu will be a gentle evolution through into 2010. “We
currently have more than 200 hotels in operation or under development, so the
name change has been designed in such a way that it'll avoid any unnecessary
disruption but still create an impact.” 

Meanwhile Gordon McKinnon, Rezidor's Executive Vice President of Brands,
revealed that the name Blu emerged as the most natural choice from Rezidor's
intensively researched quest to find the right new visual differentiator to
replace the familiar SAS ‘blue box'. 

“The name Blu started life as the project's working title. But it soon became
apparent that it was actually the most natural of choices. It's simple, it's
short, it's relevant and we've applied it in a way that adds a certain modernity
to the identity without taking it too far,” he said. 

“Most importantly it also promotes our specific brand heritage by preserving the
graphic ‘blue box' which has become the recognised symbol of the distinctive
characteristics of the Radisson brand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Radisson Blu preserves the continuity of our unique brand, while taking it that
one essential step forward to more accurately represent its true position and
future ambitions.”

These ambitions were today summarised by Kurt Ritter: “As Radisson Blu, we aim
to become the fastest growing, most innovative and dynamic, upper upscale hotel
brand in the world.”


Radisson Blu Background: Hot dates

1960: The Royal Copenhagen, world's first designer hotel, opens in Denmark.
Designed by the legendary Arne Jacobsen for SAS International Hotels (SIH) - the
hotel division of The Scandinavian airline group, SAS - it wins instant
international acclaim for its groundbreaking architecture and interiors. 

1994: SAS International Hotels, (SIH), joins forces with the Radisson brand in
Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), to create Radisson SAS in one of the
worlds first joint branding initiatives.

2000: Radisson SAS passes the 100 hotels milestone - a real player in the

2002: The birth of Rezidor SAS Hospitality: a new name to reflect a new
direction and the development of a multi-brand portfolio with Rezidor SAS as the
parent company and Radisson SAS as a key brand.

Early 2006: The Radisson SAS success story is confirmed. The new brand has
established its very own market position in the upper upscale, lifestyle segment
with a focus on contemporary design and operational excellence. Radisson SAS has
more than 150 properties in more than 40 countries throughout EMEA. 

Late 2006: It's time for the SAS group to let its fledgling go and fly free.
Rezidor SAS, renamed The Rezidor Hotel Group, is floated on the Stockholm Stock

2008: The Rezidor Hotel Group has been trading as a listed company for over two
years and it closes the year with a total portfolio of over 360 hotels across
five, very different, carefully segmented brands, operating in 55 countries.
Radisson SAS is acknowledged as the hotel industry's most improved and rising,
upper upscale star. 

Feb 2009: Radisson SAS rebrands as Radisson Blu: the news is announced at the
opening of the latest, stunning ‘new breed' property: The Radisson Blu Zurich
Airport takes off…

For further information, please contact:
The Rezidor Hotel Group / Corporate Communications
Christiane Reiter
Tel. +32 2 702 9331

About the Rezidor Hotel Group:
The Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the
world. The group features a portfolio of more than 360 hotels in operation and
under development with over 76,000 rooms in 55 countries.

Rezidor operates the brands Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts, Regent Hotels &
Resorts, Park Inn and Country Inns & Suites in Europe, Middle East and Africa,
along with the goldpoints plusSM loyalty programme for frequent hotel guests.
Rezidor has signed a worldwide license agreement with the Italian fashion house
Missoni, in order to develop and operate a lifestyle hotel brand of the same
name: Hotel Missoni.

In November 2006, Rezidor was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Carlson
Companies is the main shareholder.  

The Corporate Office of the Rezidor Hotel Group is based in Brussels, Belgium.

For more information on Rezidor, visit www.rezidor.com.