Recession Hands Over a Bill to Hotel Ritz

12/11/2014 – Cinco Dias

The economic crisis and the decline in the number of visitors coming to Madrid over the past years have deeply undercut the value of one of the most iconic hotels in the capital city. El Ritz by Belmond is 50% owned by Omega Capital, an investment vehicle of businesswoman Alicia Koplowitz, and chain Belmond, until recently known as Orient-Express Hotels. In the last three years, the brand value dipped from €22.9 million down to €10.9 million.

Auditor’s report on the Hotel Ritz Madrid company 2013 balance by PwC reveals that the 2011 and 2012 reporting included a caveat that incomplete data was accessible to verify correctly the brand’s value, ‘albeit the 2014 study provided us with an independently conducted valuation (…) indicating a €9.84 million loss’.

Hotel Ritz Madrid, directly operating the Hotel Ritz, registered a net revenue of €1.98 million in 2013, compared to the €3.3 million loss from a year earlier. The proceeds were intended for reducing the red from the previous years, showing a hole €46.15 million deep as per December 31st 2013.

PwC assures that the firm neither inclines towards dissolution nor ‘mandatory capital reduction’, in spite of negative working capital posting €62.16 million at the end of 2013, not considering the payables with its shareholders, and a negative net equity of €3.5 million. However, the auditor warned about ‘uncertainty about further operating capacity of the company’. From January to April 2014, Hotel Ritz Madrid met the financial liability agreed upon with the creditor banks and its two stakeholders injected €6.9 million in cash, loans of a participative nature at a 3.05% annual interest rate. In 2013, another €7.5 million was put in, and in 2012 €6.2 million more. Omega Capital and Belmond hold loans and credits amounting to €38.4 million.

At the end of 2013, the company owed €61.8 million to the banks and the Hotel Ritz was a collateral at the giant NPL portfolio ‘Octopus’ sale by Hypothtekenbank Frankfurt AG earlier this year. Throughout 2012, the establishment was thoroughly refurbished with view to ‘improving revenues in the next years’.

Omega Capital and Belmond bought the Ritz in 2003 for €125 million. Currently up for sale, the establishment called attention of such big-name brands as Marriot and Fairmont.


Original article: Cinco Días (by L. Salces)

Translation: AURA REE