19 March 2018 – Valencia Plaza
Atitlán is continuing to shake up the real estate market with its operations, in this case focusing on the hotel sector. The investment firm owned by Roberto Centeno and Aritza Rodero has sold six hotels to a new Socimi in the sector that is being promoted by Bankinter. According to sources familiar with the operation, speaking to Valencia Plaza, the asset sale has included the Hotel Rey Don Jaime de Valencia, amongst others.
The transaction represents Atitlán’s departure from a market in which it has operated by stealth since 2013 when it began to acquire hotel assets in Spain. Its modus operandi involved buying up hotels in need of refurbishment in good locations. The company then invested in the renovations before putting the properties back on the market, in some cases affecting a change of operator to optimise the management.
The brand acquired the aforementioned portfolio, containing six hotels in total, located in the cities of Madrid, Sevilla, Palma de Mallorca, Santiago de Compostela and Valencia, in the case of the latter through the purchase of the Hotel Rey Don Jaime from Grupo Beatriz, whose management was entrusted to the operator Hotusa.
That acquisition was completed in 2015 when the hotel was in the midst of a redundancy program. According to reports at the time by the Valencian edition of El Mundo, the investment made by the new owner – Atitlán – was €5 million. The 14-storey building is one of the largest hotels in terms of capacity in Valencia.
When asked about the subject, sources at Atitlán confirmed to this newspaper that a portfolio of six hotels – comprising 900 rooms in total – was sold in February – including the Hotel Rey Don Jaime. The firm declined to confirm the location of the other properties or the total amount of the transaction.
The operation comes shortly after another high profile sale by the company owned by Roberto Centeno – the son-in-law of Juan Roig – and Aritza Rodero. Last month, the firm sold three plots that had been owned for years by a subsidiary of Nuevas Actividades Urbanas (NAU) for €33.6 million, after taking control of NAU just over a year ago for €8.7 million.
The buyer, in that case, was the US fund Harbert Management Corporation, which made its debut in Valencia through this operation hand in hand with the property developer Momentum Real Estate Investment Managers.
Atom Hoteles Socimi
Sources familiar with Atitlán’s hotel operation add that the company that has acquired the assets is Atom Hoteles Socimi SA, a firm promoted by Bankinter, which owns 19 hotel establishments in total spread all over Spain.
The bank has also been silent about the project, although the Mercantile Registry reveals that the new company, which was constituted in January, is chaired by Eduardo Ozaita Vega, the Director General of Bankinter.
At the end of last year, market sources revealed Bankinter’s intention to launch a Socimi focused on the hotel sector this year for its private banking clients, in which it will maintain a stake of around 10%.
The entity led by María Dolores Dancausa plans to launch this investment vehicle on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) with a share capital of around €200 million, for those clients whose wealth exceeds €1 million. The minimum investment to participate in the Socimi will be €200,000 per client, up to a maximum of 15% of total assets.
In this way, Bankinter is replicating the model of Olimpo Real Estate (Ores), a Socimi that it launched to invest in small and medium-sized retail assets in which the entity retains a 10% stake and which was designed to respond to clients who were demanding higher returns in the context of low interest rates.
Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Dani Valero)
Translation: Carmel Drake