Iberostar Refinances Its Debt & Releases Guarantees

11 December 2015 – Expansión

New financing conditions / The hotel group owned by the Fluxà family is restructuring its debt and postponing its repayments until 2021. Its profits remained stable in 2014.

Iberostar is refinancing its debt for the second time in less than three years. In April this year, the hotel group controlled by the Fluxà family restructured the majority of its financial liabilities, according to the 2014 annual accounts of the parent company, Iberostar Hoteles and Apartamentos, filed with the Mercantile Registry. At the end of last year, the group’s short and long-term debt amounted to more than €400 million – most of which was held with financial institutions – and the liabilities between the group’s companies amounted to €533 million.

The agreement establishes a new timetable, which runs until 2021 – three extra years – and reduces the guarantees provided by Iberostar. Under the previous refinancing agreement, completed in 2012 and amounting to €768 million, the hotel chain offered a personal guarantee against the obligations of a €285 million loan, as well as mortgage guarantees over Spanish assets and the pledge of its 5% stake in ACS.

Percentage in ACS

The Fluxà family is the shareholder of the construction group that has been chaired by Florentino Pérez since 2006, when Iberstar sold its tourism division to Carlyle and Vista Capital for around €900 million to focus on the hotel sector. The private equity companies created Orizonia – which no longer exists as it filed for bankruptcy in April 2013 – and the Fluxà family invested almost all of the resources obtained on the purchase of ACS.

Iberostar paid €46.82 for each share – €826 million in total. Yesterday, ACS closed trading with a share price of €28.49, representing an increase of 2.76% during the session. In 2012, Iberostar was forced to recognise an impairment on its shareholding amounting to €147.12 million, which meant that the company recorded losses that year. At the end of 2014, the company recognised its shareholding in ACS at €36.41 per share and set its recoverable value at €40 per share. Despite this difference, Iberostar has not reversed the impairment recorded in previous years.

Iberostar is represented on the board of ACS by Sabina Fluxà, the Executive Co-Vice-President and CEO of the hotel chain, and it received dividends amounting to €20.34 million on its shareholding.

In 2014, the parent company’s turnover amounted to €43.47 million, down by 6.36%. The operating result decreased by 76.4% to €7.97 million, due to a reduction in other operating income and an impairment for the transfer of tangible assets and financial instruments. Iberostar expects to improve that figure this year, by maintaining stable turnover and cutting down its expenses. Nevertheless, the net result remained stable – at around €15.7 million – due to the positive effect of the lower tax charge on its profits.

As a whole, Iberostar and its subsidiaries invoiced €1,435 million in 2014, up by 29.6%, to place it in fourth position by turnover, surpassed only by Grupo Barceló – which also includes its tourism business – , RUI and Meliá.

Dividends

In 2014, the parent company allocated its profits to offset its negative results from previous years, but it distributed €55.7 million in dividends distributed against reserves. Moreover, it repaid debt amounting to €18.78 million owing to the Tax Authorities for Corporation Tax for the years 2007 and 2008.

Meanwhile, Iberostar has the option to purchase an additional 29.15% stake in Royal Cupido, in which it already holds a 29.5% shareholding, for €44.54 million. Pontegadea, the investment arm of Amancio Ortega, controls 45.5% of Royal, which owns five hotels in Spain and earned €3.43 million in 2014.

Original story: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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