Amundi Acquires Co-Working Project from Conren Tramway for €55 Million

25 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

Amundi, a major French asset manager, acquired an office building under development at Calle Sancho de Ávila, 65, in Barcelona’s @22. The firm paid Conren Tramway 56 million euros for the building, which is still under construction.  The building, however, has already been fully leased by Wojo, a French co-working firm owned by Accor.

The 7-floor building will have 8,300 square meters of surface area, parking facilities, storerooms, changing rooms and a rooftop terrace. Conren Tramway recently signed a leasing agreement whereby the Wojo will take over the property at a rate of  22.3 euros per square meter per month

Amundi’s operations in Spain began last year with its acquisition of the Portico building, in Madrid’s Campo de las Naciones, for approximately 130 million euros.

Original Story: Expansión – Marisa Anglés

 

Cerquia’s Directors Launch New Hotel Development Company: Xpandia

14 February 2018 – Eje Prime

The managers of Cerquia have set their sights on achieving five stars. Carlos Cercadillo, Javier Pérez Picallo and Jesús Salinero, all senior members of the Spanish company, have teamed up with a group of investors to leap into the hotel sector. The executives have launched Xpandia Projects, a company specialising in hotel development with a focus on Spain and Portugal, according to Pérez Picallo, CEO of Cerquia, speaking to Eje Prime.

Picallo will be in charge of the new project, although he will also continue in his position at Cerquia, as will Cercadillo, who is the President of the company and Salinero, who leads the expansion department.

“The hotels will be urban properties and they will be handed over turnkey-style to the operators”, explains the CEO of the company (…). The objective of the property developer is to hand over 800 rooms over the next three years. For the time being, the company is going to work on three projects, two in Lisbon and one in Valencia. The latter, located on Calle Guillem de Gastro, is on the verge of being granted its licence, with the aim of being completed and ready for delivery in 2020. In the case of the Portuguese assets, the delivery will take place in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In total, these three hotels will place 386 rooms on the market. Some of the major operators for which the firm is going to work include groups such as Accor, Iberostar, Hotusa, Vincci and B&B.

The development of the assets will be undertaken through both the renovation of buildings, as well as the construction of new build properties. The first project in Valencia and one of the projects in Lisbon involve the complete renovation of two properties. In addition, during this first phase, the company has pre-agreements to develop hotels in Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, Sevilla, Málaga, Bilbao and Donostia.

Xpandia is not planning to accumulate assets itself. “We will not hold onto the assets, instead we will sell them to investors who will operate them after we complete the building work”, explains Picallo, adding that “in some cases, we will hand over the hotels completely decorated and furnished”. The only hotel that the new company will own is a property in Lisbon, currently owned by Cerquia, which will be transferred from one portfolio to another. Despite the obvious synergies between the group and the property developer, “this is a project that will operate outside of Cerquia”, said its CEO.

The property developer will work on all stages of the projects from the location and selection of the properties to the drafting of the technical plans and the organisation of the construction work. Location wise, the properties will always “be in cities, primarily in central areas, to respond to the tourist interest that operators demand”, says Picallo. The property developer will study 100 potential projects per year.

The company is not going to work in Barcelona for the time being. Although the Catalan capital is the most touristic city in Spain, the property developer considers that “there is too much uncertainty around obtaining hotel licences in the city” (…).

During this first phase, the hotel operators that Xpandia is working with are expected to invest around €30 million. The hotels that the company is going to develop will be 3- and 4-star properties.

The group driving the project, Cerquia, is a company dedicated to the management and operation of its own real estate assets. The company, created in 2006, has offices, hotels and homes for rent in a portfolio that spans a surface area of approximately 20,000 m2 in the office sector alone across the Iberian Peninsula.

The firm’s clients include companies such as Banco Santander, Uria Menéndez, Garrigues, Catalana Occidente, Hoteles Vincci,  Bausch & Lomb, Intermoney, Worx, Lycamobile and Shine Ibérica, amongst others. For 2018, the group’s roadmap is to maintain its activity and continue with the progress of its three residential developments.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barceló Offers €2.48bn For NH & Sets 3-Month Negotiation Period

21 November 2017 – Expansión

To create a hotel colossus with more than 600 hotels and 109,000 rooms in Europe, Latin America and the USA, and one of the largest tourism companies in Spain. With this objective in mind, the Barceló group has initiated contact with the NH Hotel Group to propose one of the largest hotel mega-operations in recent years in Spain.

Barceló is offering a swap equation that involves valuing each NH share at €7.08. In other words, it is willing to pay €2.48 billion for the company in total. That valuation represents a premium of 27% over the group’s average share price during the three months leading up to 30 October, of €5.56. Moreover, that premium rises to 41% if we consider the company’s closing price last Friday of €5.

Yesterday at 12:30, Spain’s National Securities and Exchanges Commission (CNMV) lifted the suspension on trading that had been weighing down on NH’s shares, but the avalanche of purchase orders meant that it took another 45 minutes for the shares to actually start trading again. By the close of business, NH’s list price had soared by 11.8%, to €5.59. In this way, its market capitalisation rose from €1,751 million on Friday to exceed €1,950 million. So far this year, the hotel company has seen its share price rise by more than 46%, however, it is still well below the €14.70 per share that it reached in 2007, at the height of its stock market boom.

Barceló submitted to the CNMV a letter sent by Simón Pedro Barceló, Co-President of Group Barceló, to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of NH, Alfredo Fernández Agras, in which he proposes considering the merger of the two companies. According to the initial proposal, the Mallorca-based firm would end up owning 60% of the merged group. Barceló explains that his interest in this merger stems from “the great strategic sense and the exceptional potential for the creation of value for the shareholders of both companies”.

The letter also opens the door for the merged group’s corporate headquarters to be located in Madrid and it proposes that the maximum governing body of the merged company, in which Grupo Barceló would hold a majority stake, would have sufficient members to ensure that the existing shareholders of NH are represented.

Barceló proposes a merger, in other words, “the integration of Grupo Barceló and NH through the delivery of new shares issued by NH to Grupo Barceló, keeping the company listed”. “Our intention is to integrate all of the assets and liabilities of Grupo Barceló, including our Hotel and Travel divisions, which we believe could contribute value to the combined group. Nevertheless, we are willing to consider different alternatives regarding the perimeter of the assets and liabilities in order to facilitate the success of the transaction”, said Barceló.

Three months to reach an agreement

The offer, which is non-binding and conditional upon a due diligence (detailed analysis) provides for a period of “up to 3 months for the completion of this work, to reach an agreement between the two parties and submit a transaction to our respective governing bodies for definitive approval”. In fact, Barceló said that he is willing to consider alternatives with respect to the perimeter of the operation to facilitate it.

If the proposal ends up going ahead, it would result in the creation of the largest Spanish hotel group, ahead of Meliá, which at the end of 2016, had 375 hotels and 96,369 rooms. It would become one of the largest players in the sector in Europe, behind only the British firm InterContintental and the French company Accor.

Barceló has engaged Santander as financial advisor for the operation and has not hired any legal advisor.

NH views the offer with suspicion

From the get-go, the offer has been viewed with suspicion by NH, which indicated to the CNMV that it had received “an unsolicited, preliminary and non-binding expression of interest” from Barceló for the merger of the two businesses.

According to this offer, Barceló would have “a majority on the administrative board”. Moreover, NH reminded the regulator that its Board of Directors recently approved a 3-year strategic plan “involving an independent project for significant growth, which is still valid today”.

NH’s largest shareholder is the Chinese giant HNA, which holds a 29.5% stake, but it is not represented on the Board of Directors following its expulsion last year due to a conflict of interest. After HNA is the British fund Oceanwood, with a 12% stake; and Hesperia, the chain chaired by José Antonio Castro, with a 9% stake.

Analysts think the merger makes “strategic sense” 

Analysts at Renta 4 and Bankinter agree with Barceló that the operation makes “strategic sense”.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo and M. L. Verbo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

UBS Buys Office Building In Madrid For €38.5M

31 July 2017 – Eje Prime

UBS Asset Management has acquired a new asset in Spain. Through its Real Estate & Private Markets (REPM) division, the investment arm of the Swiss bank has completed the purchase of the business complex located at number 56 on Calle Ribera del Loira, in the Campo de las Naciones office district, alongside the Ifema exhibition halls. UBS’s real estate fund has disbursed €38.5 million for the asset.

The building acquired by UBS has a surface area of 11,549 m2, divided into two buildings, separated by a central atrium. Moreover, it has more than 300 parking spaces. The complex houses the headquarters of the hotel group Accor and the dental clinic company Dentix.

The Ribera del Loira operation comes just a month after the Swiss bank’s most recent investment in Madrid when UBS Asset Management purchased two logistics assets spanning almost 35,000 m2 located on the PP10 industrial estate in Leganés. It paid just over €35 million for those properties.

The Swiss bank arrived in Spain with its real estate investment arm. Through seven investment funds, UBS owns a portfolio worth €772 million containing mainly offices, which account for around 50% of the portfolio, as well as retail assets (which represent 37% of the total) and logistics properties.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Pérez Gil Family: Accor & Hilton’s Spanish Partner

1 February 2016 – Expansión

Routemap / Hoteles Temáticos, which works with giant players in the hotel sector through franchise contracts, expects to double in size and revenues over the next four years.

The Pérez Gil family is making closer ties with large international hotel groups. The family, which already has a partnership with the French company Accor, has now signed a similar agreement with Hilton. A new partner, but the same modus operandi: a franchise agreement that allows Hoteles Temáticos, the company owned by the Pérez Gil family, to manage hotels and, in exchange for a fee, use Accor and Hilton’s brands and distribution channels, which have 25 million and 74 million users, respectively, in their loyalty programs.

This summer, Hilton will open the doors of its first hotel in the centre of Madrid – until now the hotel giant had just one hotel in the city, next to the airport (pictured above) – under the Double Tree brand, which will debut in the capital. The 4-star property will have 61 rooms and will be located on Calle San Agustín, opposite Congress. The work to renovate the building, which housed offices until now, will cost around €4 million. In parallel, the Pérez Gil family has paid €8 million for 50% of the property.

In addition to this project with Hilton, which will allow the family to raise its profile in the US market, Hoteles Culturales is finalising several other new additions. It currently operates three hotels under franchise agreements with Accor in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as a complex containing 16 apartments in the capital and another (unbranded) 3-star property in Alfaro (La Rioja). “Our objective is to increase our portfolio from 400 rooms to between 800 and 1,000 rooms by 2020, and for our turnover, which currently stands at €10 million, to grow to €25 million”, says Guillermo Pérez Palacios, Director General of Hoteles Temáticos and the son of Antonio Pérez Gil, who used to be the Chief Operating Officer of NH, when the chain founded by Antonio Catalán had six hotels.

Royalties

In the short term, Hoteles Temáticos will focus on Barcelona and Madrid…but Bilbao, San Sebastián, Porto and Lisbon also feature on its radar. The company is looking for management contracts, and, depending on the opportunity, investment contracts. And the door is also open to new partners, even though the involvement of international brands can increase investment costs by up to 20%, due to the high quality and safety standards such brands demand.

Agreements with overseas brands include the payment of royalties for the use of those brands and their distribution channels. Nevertheless, the formula has its benefits: “The consistency of the brand makes up for (the associated costs) and helps to make investments more effective”. At the Hotel Ibis Styles Madrid Prado, the Pérez Gil family’s first franchise contract, 55% of reservations are generated by Accor’s sales channel. According to the franchisee, brands allow hotels to increase revenues per room by between 10% and 15% compared with those charged by independent hotels and domestic chains. “Brands have allowed us to reduce our dependence on online travel agents”.

Original story: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake

JLL: Hotel Investment Exceeded €2,650M In 2015

12 January 2016 – Expansión

2015 was a record year for investment in the hotel sector, driven primarily by Spanish buyers. The Canary Islands and Madrid were the stars in terms of location. Last year, 143 hotels were sold in Spain worth €2,650 million, which represents an increase of 65.6% compared with 2006, the previous record-breaking year; and more than double the investment volume recorded in 2014 – €1,180 million.

Spain was the third most popular European country for investors, behind the UK and Germany, according to a report by the consultancy firm JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group. And Spanish investors returned to the spotlight, thanks to the improvement in the domestic economy. In 2015, 74% of total investment was made by domestic buyers, compared with 58% a year earlier.

In this regard, the Socimis were the great discovery of the year. Merlin and Hispania, the two largest Socimis by market capitalisation, spent €965 million on hotels, whereby accounting for 36.4% of the total volume invested in Spain.

In terms of Spanish investors, the Socimis and investment funds were followed by Spain’s hotel chains, which accounted for 13.5% of total investment. The Catalan hotel chains H10 and Hotusa were the most active in 2015. They were followed by private investors, such as family offices, which accounted for 8.9%.

In the meantime, overseas investors accounted for 26% of total investment in Spain, with buyers from France being the most active – Accor’s acquisition of four Novotel hotels was a key deal – behind those from Germany – IFA paid €48 million for two properties in the Canary Islands – and Hong Kong – Mandarin purchased the Ritz in Madrid, together with the Saudi group Olayan-.

By type of investor, the funds increased their weight significantly during the year, specifically, up from 30.4% to 53.6% of the total. Hotel groups and private investors lost steam, in contrast to the real estate companies, which recorded a slight rise.

The Canary Islands accounted for 29.6% of total investment, benefiting from the upturn that Spain’s tourism industry is experiencing at the moment due to (political) instability in other competing countries in the Mediterranean. 31 hotels were sold there in total, primarily as a result of the partnership between Meliá and Starwood Capital, as well as due to the creation of Bay, the first pure hotel Socimi, by Barceló and Hispania.

Recovery

Madrid was the second most popular destination, accounting for 23.5% of total investment. The price paid for the Ritz hotel – €778,000 per room – was the highest recorded in Spain. Half of the operations involved five-star hotels and 43% involved four-star hotels.

Occupancy rates have improved in the Spanish capital, but the average price there continues to fall below its pre-crisis levels.

In the Balearic Islands, hotels worth more than €445 million were sold – 16.8% of the total – , above Barcelona, where 14 transactions worth €340 million were signed – accounting for 14% – above all, involving four-star properties. Despite the moratorium imposed by the mayoress Ada Colau, the Catalan city is the country’s leader in terms of profitability and the outlook there is positive.

Another trend in 2015 was the sale of hotel portfolios. 78 of the 143 hotels that changed hands belonged to a larger batch. This year, more operations of this type are expected, albeit smaller in value; and overseas Socimis and investors are expected to play a more active role. According to JLL, investment in 2016 could reach similar levels to those seen last year.

Original story: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Globalvia’s BeLive to Operate Its First City Hotel

5/11/2014 – Cinco Días 

A hotel chain belonging to the Globalvia group places a bet on the urban segment. From 2015 on, BeLive will operate the Hotel Santo Domingo, until now managed by Mercure, owned by French group Accor. The establishment will be renamed the BeLive City Center Madrid Santo Domingo.

BeLive already operates in two other establishments in Madrid, one nearby the airport and the other in Talavera de la Reina, a town in the south-west of the capital. The chain’s CEO Javier Blanco assured the new hotel is an important step for the chain as it will be a unit fully defined as a city one.

The operation is a part of the brand’s extension plan, including both transit and resort hotels.

Currently, BeLive has got 31 hotels scattered around Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, totalling at 9.000 keys.

The previous manager of the Hotel Santo Domingo (pictured), Accor and its Mercure, announced an intention of moving to the Hotel Lope de Vega, Madrid, a four-star establishment held by the Perez Gil family which from December will be known as the Mercure Madrid Centro.

Globalvia has also named a new CEO for its Halcon Viajes and Viajes Ecuador, Jose Maria Hoyos.

 

Original article: Cinco Días (by L. Salces)

Translation: AURA REE

Accor to Administer the Hotel Convención in Madrid From 2016

11/07/2014 – Expansion

Accor gains ground in Spain as the French hotel group is going to add the Hotel Convención to its portfolio. The property is situated on the O´Donnell street in the Spanish capital, very close to the Retiro park. Accor has signed a franchise agreement to operate under the Novotel brand with the family that owns the unit, the Santos, the holders of real estate manager Sandi. Irea acted as the advisor at the operation.

The four-star establishment was opened in 1978. During the process, it will remain open but will undergo a comprehensive refurbishment which will consume between 30 and 40 million euros. The works are predicted to end in 2016, converting the hotel into the largest Novotel in the world with 790 rooms.

With this size and 2.400 square meter area of conference rooms, being able to host up to 1.500 people, the Novotel Convención Madrid will compete with other hotels in the city like the Meliá Castilla (915 rooms), the Westin Palace (467 rooms) and the NH Eurobuilding (440 rooms).

Together with the new establishment, presently Accor has got three Novotels in Madrid under management. The firm expanded its Spanish portfolio to 86 hotels, 23% of them franchised. On the global level, Accor administers over 3.600 hotels in 92 countries through its 12 brands.

Once battered, hotel market in Madrid starts to recover in terms of occupancy but not prices. In 2012, the Hotel Convención gained €11.29 million, over 89% of the 2000 earnings. Apart from the establishment, Accor manages an aparthotel close to the Barajas Airport (Madrid).

 

Original article: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)

Translation: AURA REE