20/08/2014 – Expansion
Barceló redirects its strategy concerning property in its ownership. The chain controlled by a family of the same surname analyzes various alternatives for reducing its exposure to the real estate.
Currently, the firm manages 102 hotels in 17 countries jointly offering 30.809 rooms. About 39% of the establishments belongs to Barceló – 63% if owned rooms (19.400 units) taken into account. In Spain, the group operates in 49 hotels out which it rents 19. Last year, Barceló reinforced its position in the holiday sector and invested more in 4* and 5* establishments. Currently, it has got three 3* hotels for sale: the Barceló Varadero (Tenerife), the La Galea (Lanzarote) and the Ponent Playa (Palma de Majorca, pictured).
What is more, the chain may want to shed the eight hotels inherited from Martinsa-Fadesa that went bankrupt in 2007.
Options are numerous. Firstly, Barceló may group a part of its assets and sell them to investors. Secondly, it may market hotels in lots or even create a Socimi, Spanish counterpart of a REIT firm. By choosing the last alternative, Barceló would be the first hotel chain to use this kind of vehicle.
In fact, the group has already formally registered a company called Bay Hotels & Resorts, intended for a Socimi, however its listing became quite unlikely in the light of the recent changes in the tax incentives guaranteed by Spanish REITs.
In 2012, Barceló sold three hotels in Chicago, Hamburg and Raval (Barcelona) for €133 million, saving management of the last two. In 2013, it said goodbye to other three establishments in the USA, as well as to holdings in several companies.
Original article: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)
Translation: AURA REE