2 June 2015 – Expansión
Madrid/ Sodim, the holding company owned by the Portuguese family Queiroz Pereira, is looking for a buyer for the five star hotel it acquired for €80 million in 2001.
Following the sales of the InterContinental and Ritz hotels to the Qatari sovereign fund and the alliance formed by Mandarin and the Saudi firm Olayan, respectively, it is the turn of Villa Magna. Sodim, the holding company owned by the Portuguese family Queiroz Pereira, has put the hotel, which it purchased from the Japanese company Shirayama in 2001 for €80 million, up for sale.
Sodim is asking €180 million for the five star property, located on Paseo de la Castellana. If it achieves its goal, it will become the largest operation to be signed in Madrid, ahead of the Ritz – €130 million – and the InterContinental – €70 million – but behind the €200 million paid by the Qatari Diar fund for Hotel Vela in Barcelona in 2013.
The operation, which is in its initial phases, may attract interest from foreign investors and international hotel groups wanting to improve their location or enter Madrid’s market, such as Hyatt, Hilton, Shangri-La, Kempinski and Jumeirah, amongst others.
Hyatt managed the Hotel Villa Magna for almost two decades until 2009, when following the complete renovation of the hotel, the owners decided to take over the management themselves. Sodim also owns the Hotel Ritz in Lisbon, which is operated by Four Seasons, which is itself finalising its entry into the Spanish market, at the Canalejas complex in Madrid, together with Juan Miguel Villar Mir.
Hyatt no longer has a presence in Spain after it exited the Villa Magna and La Manga (Murcia). Its name has also appeared on the list of candidates to take over the management of the Hotel Miguel Angel, whose future is still not clear. Its owner, the British investor of Iraqi origin Nadhmi Auchi, is operating the property following Occidental’s exit last year.
The Hotel Villa Magna underwent a major refurbishment several years ago. It closed its doors on 1 August 2007 and reopened again at the beginning of 2009…€50 million was invested in total…the result was a hotel with fewer, but more luxurious rooms. The property retained its distinctive pink granite façade and the number of rooms decreased from 182 to 150. In exchange, the number of suites increased from 18 to 50. It also expanded its gastronomic and leisure offer, with new restaurants and a spa. Since 2009, it has offered rooms measuring between 30m2 and 290m2 – the Royal Suite.
The average room rate at the Villa Magna starts from €310 per night for a standard room. The Royal Suite costs €16,000 per night.
(….) The luxury hotel sector has been hit by the crisis, although the Villa Magna has not suffered as much as some. In 2013, it generated turnover of €19.29 million, up 4.8%…and the net profit was €3.68 million, compared with losses of €14.89 million in the previous year.
Nevertheless, the hotel closed 2013 with negative equity of €33.8 million, due to financial charges and impairment losses. Its financial debt exceeded €70 million. Even though it has the backing of Sodim through equity loans, the auditor PwC warned of significant uncertainty in terms of the hotel’s capacity to continue as a going concern.
Original story: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)
Translation: Carmel Drake