Hispania Will Accelerate Its Hotel Investments In 2017

25 January 2017 – Expansión

New strategic plan / The Socimi managed by Azora is planning to sign operations amounting to almost €200 million over the next few months and is also considering selling off its residential portfolio and rotating its offices.

Hispania is clear about its commitment to the hotel sector and is going to put its foot down on the accelerator in 2017, with operations worth almost €200 million due to be completed soon and more, worth over €1,400 million, currently being analysed. The real estate firm, managed by Azora and in which George Soros holds a stake, will present its new strategy to its shareholders at the end of February. The strategy includes: increasing the rate of growth in hotels, divesting from the residential segment and rotating its office assets. (…).

Hispania currently owns 37 hotel assets, containing more than 10,500 rooms, worth more than €1,000 million, making it the second largest hotel owner in Spain, behind only Meliá, and one of the main investors specialising in hotels in Europe, alongside Fonciére and Pandox.

The Socimi’s portfolio also contains 750 homes in Madrid and Barcelona, worth €215 million, and 25 office buildings, with a combined leasable surface area of 153,000 m2, worth almost €450 million. The firm’s plans include selling off its residential assets in a block sale to maximise gains and rotating its office portfolio.

In the residential segment, the company acquired the Torre Isla del Cielo in Barcelona, containing 213 homes for more than €60 million in May 2014; and it also owns 286 homes in Sanchinarro (Madrid). 75 of the homes in the Sanchinarro complex have been renovated Hispania bought them, whilst 64 of the homes in Isla del Cifra have been refurbished. This repositioning strategy has allowed the company to lease the renovated homes for 31% more in the case of Sanchinarro and 74% more in the case of Isla del Cielo. Hispania also owns homes in San Sebastián de los Reyes and Majadahonda, as well as a complex on Avenidad de Hispanidad, in the north west of Madrid.

In terms of offices, Hispania’s portfolio includes the Torre 30 building, leased to Ilunsion, and the Aurelio Menéndez building, leased to Uría Menéndez.

In parallel, the company is working with ratings agencies with a view to securing an investment grade rating, according to market sources. Hispania’s average cost of debt currently stands at 2.7% and depending on the results of the strategic review, the company may analyse a bond issue with the objective of diversifying its financial structure.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake