19/05/2014 – Expansion
Marriott takes the lead in the bidding for the Ritz hotel in Madrid. The U.S. hotel giant offered €130 million for the historic establishment to its present owners, Alicia Koplowitz and the Orient-Express chain, possessing 50% each.
If the transaction comes under seal, Koplowitz (via Omega Capital) and Orient-Express will receive more than the amount they paid for the property in 2003 (€125 million).
The quote includes between €40-50 million intended for refurbishment of the building and recovery of the status of one of the most excellent accommodations in the capital, and to compete with the Four Seasons hotel to open in the Canalejas complex in 2017.
The operation includes rights to use the Ritz brand in Spain. Marriott, though, is planning to change the hotel´s name to the Ritz-Carlton, reduce the room number (at the moment 137 rooms and 30 suites) and promote the hotel to five-star level.
According to sources from the sector, the establishment will surely fall in hands of Marriott. The hotel´s debt is found inside the “Octopus Project” loan portfolio put up for auction by Eurohypo, Spanish branch of Commerzbank.
The striking offer of Marriott has puzzled other big name bidders like Hilton, Hyatt or Mandarin which seek an excellent location in Madrid.
Original article: Expansión (by J. Zuloaga & Y. Blanco)
Translation: AURA REE