25 July, Live Sicilia
Two of the best hotels in Palermo, Villa Igiea and Hotel Le Palme, have been acquired by the company Algebris, guided by Davide Serra. The two hotels belonged to the company Acqua Marcia of the entrepreneur Francesco Bellavista Caltagirone, and they were put for auction together with other five-star hotels located in Sicily.
The properties were adjudicated last Monday after that several auctions got inquorate in the past. But not this time: Algebris obtained Villa Igiea for 23.2 million euro and Hotel Le Palme for 12 million. The prices are lower than the last auctions when they were respectively 28 and 12.6 million euro. Moreover, the Excelsior hotel in Palermo was also sold with the last auction. The hotel went to some entrepreneurs, whose name hasn’t been disclosed, operating on the island for a long time.
Banco di Sicilia owned these luxury hotels until the end of the Nineties; then the bank decided to sell. The hotels are San Domenico in Taormina, Excelsior, Villa Igiea, Hotel Le Palme in Palermo, and Excelsior in Catania. The operation was finalised in 1998 through Sgas and Itacs, two companies owned by Banco di Sicilia which used the manage the hotels on the bank’s behalf, employing 250 people and worth approximately 36 billion. Acqua Marcia bought the hotels, but the recent financial difficulties forced the company to find an agreement among creditors. As a result, the hotels went for auction to pay the debts with a starting price of 241 million. Before last Monday, only the San Domenico in Taormina managed to sell, going to the group Statuto. The hotel might be transferred to a British investment fund together with other luxury hotels such as Danieli in Venice, the Four Seasons and the Mandarin Oriental in Milan.
We must add to these, as already said, the Excelsior, Villa Igiea and Hotel Le Palme. The last two went to Algebris, although the deal will be officially closed at the end of October. Since then, the auction might be re-opened in case someone else raises a bid. In the meanwhile, the investment fund managed by Davide Serra will keep the hotels.
Source: Live Sicilia
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi