The Puerto Banús Sale Runs Into Difficulties

4 May 2016 – El Confidencial

Puerto Banús (Marbella) has always been a clear object of desire. Its name is associated with glamour, parties and luxury. And it has been up for sale for several months now. The company behind this leisure and port complex in Marbella wants to generate cash. But the death of Alberto Vidiella, the Chairman of Puerto Banús, in February is making the sales process more complicated. The death of Vidiella and the harsh conditions imposed by the Andalucían Government are making the sale of the company to a Swiss/Chinese consortium, led by Credit Suisse, more difficult and theirs is the only firm offer that the company has received to date.

Several auditors analysed the balance sheet of Puerto Banús at the end of 2015. No price has been set yet, but experts in the sector calculate that the cost of the company will not exceed €100 million. (…). Is the Wanda Group behind the Swiss/Chinese consortium? The owners deny any conversations with the Asian corporate giant. (…). But according to real estate sources in Madrid, Wanda would be willing to pay up to €250 million for the company. (…).

Meanwhile, Wanda could be behind the purchase of the iconic Marbella Club Hotel, according to the ABC newspaper in Sevilla. However, an official spokesman for the luxury tourist complex denied that claim to this newspaper. “There is nothing in it. We have invested a lot of money in the hotel in recent years and there are always rumours. But we are not for sale”, said Rudolf Graf von Schönburg, advisor to the complex. (…).

The Andalucían Government is aware of the offer from the Swiss group. The Public Agency for Ports in Andalucía, led by Alfonso Rodrígeuz Gómez de Celis, confirmed to this newspaper that it received a letter on 29 January, from an international consortium interested in finding out more about the conditions for a possible expansion (of the marina) into the open sea and extensions of the concession term. The regional government is not responsible for either matter; the State is. (…).

For the time being, no other offers have been received for Puerto Banús, although conversations and interest from other overseas investors, above all high profile British and German funds, are continuing in a steady trickle (…).

One of the main problems facing all of the parties interested in buying Puerto Banús are the intentions of the Regional Government to not allow the construction of any hotels or shopping centres on the site in the future. The plans only include an increase in the number of berths, by 450, worth at least €75 million. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Agustín Rivera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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