Barceló To Buy Back Crestline & Integrate Its 100 Hotels

25 January 2017 – Expansión

Barceló wants to become the sole owner of Crestline Hotels & Resorts once again and to strengthen its position in the USA. The Spanish group, which sold a 60% stake in the company to the fund ARC in 2013, is going to repurchase that stake and take back control of the entire US hotel management company, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Crestline Hotels & Resorts began operating in 2000, when its then owner, Crestline Capital, acquired Dubai Empresas and Stormont Trice Hospitality to create a hotel management company. In 2002, the Barceló Group acquired the group and renamed it the Barceló Crestline Corporation.

At the end of August 2013, Barceló decided to unwind some of its shareholding in Crestline and reached an agreement with the investment fund ARC to sell 60% of the company, which saw the group become a minority shareholder. This agreement included a clause that gave Barceló the right to repurchase its stake and that right is due to expire this year. The group intends to exercise this right, say the sources.

Currently, Crestline Hotels & Resorts manages more than one hundred assets in the country, which will be added to the existing hotel portfolio controlled by the Barceló group. This operation will allow the Spanish group to considerably strengthen its presence in USA, by consolidating the assets managed by Crestline onto its balance sheet.

Barceló, which presented its balance sheet for 2016 last Tuesday, along with its strategy for the next few years, is seeking to increase in size and continue to diversify its portfolio. Specifically, the company is looking towards the Middle East, a market it would like to enter through an alliance with a local partner.

Moreover, the Barceló Hotel Group has set itself two challenges for 2017. On the one hand, it wants to continue its expansion into the main provincial capital cities in Spain and the main cities in Europe, as well as into urban destinations in Latin America, especially in Mexico.

On the other hand, the company is planning to take the first steps of the agreement signed with Planeno in June 2016. The objective of the alliance is to reach a minimum of 100 establishments over the next 10 years.

In 2016, the company opened 12 hotels and this year it plans to add 20 new establishments to its portfolio. Specifically, last year, the chain incorporated hotels in new countries such as Panama and El Salvador; in urban destinations such as Querétaro (Mexico); in locations where the Mallorcan group is already established, such as Prague (Czech Republic), Istanbul (Turkey), Madrid, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Bilbao; as well as three hotels in Granada, where it previously had no presence, whereby fulfilling one of its priority objectives of expansion.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake