HG Inaugurates its First Urban Hotel & Prepares another Vacation Project

15 January 2019 – Alimarket

The chain HG Hoteles has opened the 4-star HG City Suites Barcelona aparthotel containing 58 accommodation units on Avenida Vía Augusta 89, in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district of Barcelona. The establishment is the result of the purchase and complete renovation of a building that used to house the Hotel NH Belagua (3* and 72 rooms), which was active until March 2017. The renovation project has resulted in both an increase in the category of the property from 3* to 4*, as well as a reduction in the number of rooms in order to offer units that are apartment-suites and studios.

The new HG City Suites Barcelona is located just a few minutes walk from Avenida Diagonal and Paseo de Gracia. It is surrounded by services, is next to some of the most prestigious medical centre in Barcelona, and is very close to the Sant Gervasio, Plaza Molina and Fontana metro stops”, explained the company. With his hotel, HG, which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary, is making its debut in the urban hotel segment and is opening a new path of expansion.

Cristian Park will open in 2020

Nevertheless, the company’s next new property will be in the vacation sector and is scheduled for opening at the end of 2020. As Alimarket Hoteles reported, it will consist of the opening of a 4* new build aparthotel, to be operated by the owner, in the south of Tenerife, where HG Hoteles already has several apartment blocks: ‘HG Cristian Sur’ (3* and 90 rooms) and ‘HG Tenerife’ (3* and 189 rooms), in Los Cristianos. Indeed, it will open the future HG Cristian Park in that same town, with 202 accommodation units.

HG’s sun and beach offer is completed with the HG Lomo Blanco apartments (3* and 131 rooms) in Lanzarote, as well as some aparthotels in Menorca, namely: the ‘HG Jardín de Menorca’ (4*-144) and the ‘HG Cala Llonga’ (3*-30). The rest of its portfolio is made up of ski and mountain properties, including: the Huesca hotels ‘HG Alto Aragón’ (4*-134) and ‘HG Cerler’ (3*-101), the Girona-based ‘HG La Molina’ (4*-65), the Navarran ‘HG Isaba’ (3*-49) and the Granada-based ‘HG Maribel’ (4*-30).

Original story: Alimarket (by Paco Mota)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Banco Sabadell Sells 5 Hotels for c. €20M

27 January 2018 – La Vanguardia

Banco Sabadell is continuing to divest its hotel business with the sale of five establishments in recent weeks for a total consideration of almost €20 million, according to market sources. The move comes after the entity sold its hotel management platform HI Partners to the US fund Blackstone for €630.7 million in October.

When it announced that sale, the entity reported that the transaction comprised 14 large and superior category hotels, including the ME Sitges Terramar, the Hilton Sa Torre in Mallorca and the Axel Hotel in Madrid. The bank reported that another 11 smaller hotels had been left out given that they did not fit the profile of the operation. But five of them have been sold by Sabadell in recent weeks, specifically: the Asta Regia Hotel in Jerez de la Frontera acquired by Hotusa; the Aparthotel Augusta in Boí Taüll acquired by Kesse Invest; the Bal Hotel Spa de Gijón purchased by Artiem; the Barceló Oviedo bought by Barceló; and the AC Lleida purchased by AA Hoteles.

Naturally, what Sabadell is selling is the ownership of the property. In most cases, these hotels were managed by other specialist companies. The hotels expanded Sabadell’s real estate portfolio during the economic crisis after their owners offered them to the entity as a way of paying the financial debt that they had contracted. They may also have resulted from foreclosures. The entity chaired by Josep Oliu and led by Jaime Guardiola (pictured above) worked with different scenarios to make its investments profitable, including debuting the company that was managing the hotels on the stock market. However, the appearance of Blackstone’s offer tipped the balance towards the sale. According to a statement filed with the CNMV, the bank obtained profits (extraordinary profits) of €55 million from the divestment.

The hotel manager does not form part of the bank’s business and a specific division had only been constructed to manage the foreclosed assets in the best way. The establishments that have now been sold are not beachfront or large properties, although some are located in purely tourist areas such as the case of the Aparthotel in Boi Taüll, which is situated in the closest urbanisation to the Llerida ski resort.

In the case of the sale of the 5 small hotels, the bank declined to disclose the amount of the sale although market sources indicate that the total transaction consideration amounts to around €20 million. Sabadell plans to continue with the divestment of the 6 remaining hotels over the next few weeks.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

HI Partners Acquires 3 Hotels in Mallorca & Málaga

26 December 2017 – Ali Market

On 22 December, Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV) reported that the US fund The Blackstone Group International Partners (through Halley Bidco, S.L.U.) had finally made effective the purchase of 100% of HI Partners Holdco Value Added from Banco Sabadell, in an operation worth €630.73M (…).

Hotel Investment Partners (HI Partners) divides its assets between two subsidiaries, HI Partners Holdco Value Added and HI Partners Holdco Gestión Activa. Value Added owns HI’s larger tourist accommodations, located in premium areas and capable of generating significant returns once converted. That division owns 15 tourist accommodation establishments (grouped into 14 complexes), which are integrated into various hotel groups through management and rental contracts, comprising 3,724 rooms in total.

Meanwhile, Gestión Activa (635 units spread over 11 establishments) owns the rest of the group’s assets, most of which are smaller properties, in secondary locations, with the aim of being sold after optimising their management. As at 25 December 2017, HI Partners owned a total portfolio of 4,359 accommodation units (beds) spread over 26 hotels, according to a Census performed by Alimarket Hoteles.

New additions

Blackstone’s aim over the next few years is to position HI Partners in the Spanish hotel sector and to continue adding new assets to its portfolio in order to make it one of the largest owners in the domestic hotel market. In this sense, HI Partners has just announced the purchase of three holiday resorts. Specifically, in the Balearic Islands, it has purchased ‘Calviá Dreams’ (4E-161 beds) and ‘Barracuda’ (3E-264 beds) in Magaluf (Mallorca) and in Torremolinos, it has acquired the Malagan aparthotel ‘Pueblo Camino Real’ (4E-513 beds).

The first two assets currently form part of the Alua Hotels & Resorts portfolio (a chain that is owned in its entirety by Alchemy) (…). In fact, and in its fight to grow its portfolio, Blackstone bid this year to acquire the Alua Hotels’ portfolio; however, the Socimi Hispania (the largest hotel owner in Spain, with 11,047 beds spread over 39 hotels) pipped the US fund at the post by acquiring a batch of 7 hotels linked to Alua for €165 million earlier this month (…).

Original story: Ali Market (by Ricardo Vallano)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Banco Sabadell Sells its Hotel in Boí Taüll Ski Resort

13 December 2017 – Crónica Global

This December, Banco Sabadell has completed the sale of Aparthotel Augusta, an establishment located in the Catalan ski resort of Boí Taüll. The operation has been advised by the international consultancy firm Christie & Co and has been closed for €1.5 million, according to sources in the sector.

The buyer is the Kesse Invest group, a company specialising in managing mountain tourism experiences (…).

Start of the ski season

Aparthotel Augusta is a four-star establishment containing 39 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. It offers additional services such as a 1,200 m2 Spa and an outdoor swimming pool, two features that differentiate it from other accommodation options in the area, according to the same sources.

The transaction has been closed just after the start of the ski season in Boí Taüll, which opened on 1 December. The Catalan ski resort owned by the Nozar group expects a repeat of the good performance recorded last year, the best for a decade, with a 40% increase in turnover and 20% more skiers.

These figures are encouraging the Nozaleda brothers, the managers of the ski resort, to try and negotiate with the Generalitat to obtain an extension of the concession granted to them by the public company Actius de Muntanya, which runs until 2023. That process has not been started yet due to the on-going political situation in Cataluña, which first started in the summer and which has led to the calling of elections on 21 December.

Sabadell’s hotel divestment

Banco Sabadell, which has declined to confirm the details of this transaction, indicates that the deal forms part of its strategy to divest its hotel business. After selling its HI Partners division to Blackstone for €630 million (at a profit of €55 million) on 17 October, it was left with 11 (hotel) assets on its balance sheet, which it holds through the company HI Holdco Gestión Activa.

In addition to the establishment in Boí Taüll, a month ago, the bank sold a hotel it used to manage in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) to Hotusa – the hotel in question was the 4-star Eurostars Asta Regia.

Original story: Crónica Global (by Cristina Farrés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Vertix To Build An Aparthotel & 60 Homes In Stiges

9 June 2016 – Expansión

Vertix is about to start to build what will become the largest real estate development in Stiges (Garraf). The Catalan property developer has dusted off a project that has spent years in the waiting and whose first phase will involve the development of 23 hectares.

The property developer chaired by Félix Massot, which last year recorded turnover of €50 million, bought the land twenty years ago and is the owner of 60% of the site that it plans to develop. The rest belongs to small owners of a land owners’ consortium.

The project includes 400 VPO flats, an aparthotel and 80 plots for family homes, of which sixty belong to Vertix. It also includes several facilities. Originally, the plan involved the construction of apartment blocks, with communal gardens. “But Stiges is a town where buyers demand homes with their own gardens, so that caused us to rethink the project and propose separate plots”, explained the Group’s CEO and the founder’s daughter, Elena Massot.

The plots will be sold as they come (unconstructed) or with homes already built on them, depending on the clients’ preference. The homes will have a surface area of 300 sqm, will be surrounded by a garden with a swimming pool, and will be sold for €900,000.

The first phase of the project also includes the construction of an aparthotel, which will have 90 apartments in total and a small shopping centre, measuring 4,000 m2. In this case, Vertix will retain ownership of the building, as a family asset, and will lease it to an external company specialising in short-stay apartment rental. It is not Vertix’s first property of this type, given that the company’s portfolio already contains other assets, such as AC Hotel Sants, in Barcelona, and AC Hotel Gavà Mar (Baix Llobregat).

The land has already been developed, at a cost of €6 million, and is ready to be built on. Vertix has owned this land for two decades, but the urban development plan was not approved until 2007, at the same time the real estate bubble burst, which meant that no construction work was started until now. (…).

In Stiges, demand for housing is high, which means that the Catalan town has the most expensive second-hand house prices in Cataluña, with an average price of €3,779/sqm, ahead of Barcelona and Sant Cugat. It is also the third most expensive town in Spain, exceeded only by Zarautz and San Sebastián, according to a report from Fotocasa.

Vertix currently has property developments underway in Cerdanyola (Vallès Occidental) and in El Prat and Viladecans (Baix Llobregat), where it has identified genuine demand for new build homes. Its other projects are located in Barcelona, on streets such as Lepanto and Marina. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Ángles)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia Puts 40 Large Property Loans Up For Sale

7 April 2015 – Expansión

Project Commander / The bank is holding negotiations with opportunistic funds regarding the transfer of real estate loans worth €500 million.

Bankia is causing a storm amongst large overseas funds in 2015. The entity chaired by José Ignacio Goirigolzarri recently announced two large divestments aimed (precisely) at those investors; they are pioneering due to the types of assets that they include: one contains overdue mortgages and the other contains large loans to real estate companies.

In total, Bankia has put unpaid property-related loans up for sale amounting to €1,800 million. Through this strategy, the bank is seeking to reduce its balance of doubtful loans and to continue awarding real estate assets.

The most advanced transaction (in terms of progress) is the one involving the large loans (to real estate companies). Project Commander, the name of the deal being advised by Deloitte, includes 170 loans granted to 39 companies, worth more than €500 million. Of those companies, 31 are property developers and almost all of them have filed for bankruptcy or liquidation, according to sources at the overseas funds. Some of the loans were granted to companies such as the Catalan group Promociones Habitat, the same sources reported.

Exposure to land

Most of the loans are syndicated and bilateral and provide access to a wide range of assets. These include land – €200 million – most of which is rural; and industrial warehouses – €90 million -. The fund(s) that win(s) the bid will also be in a position to take ownership of office buildings, homes, a fully operational aparthotel and even a winery.

Along with the real estate assets, a small portion of the portfolio is backed by pledged shares and other types of economic rights in creditor bankruptcy.

Almost two thirds of the real estate portfolio is located in Castilla-La Mancha – mainly Toledo -, Andalucía and Cataluña.

According to the agreed timetable, the funds must present their final offers within the next two weeks and the transaction should close before the end of the month. Sources close to the process indicate that Bankia may obtain between €150 million and €200 million for Project Commander.

To secure the deal, many of the large funds have purchased real estate platforms during the last two years: Apollo (Altamira), Cerberus (Haya Real Estate), Blackstone (Anticipa), TPG (Servihabitat), Lone Star (Neinor), Centerbridge (Aktua) and Värde Partners-Kennedy Wilson (Aliseda).

These investors have already participated in some of the large real estate loan purchases. Blackstone purchased the largest portfolio ever transferred in Spain to date, Project Hercules, which comprised problematic mortgage loans from Catalunya Banc amounting to almost €6,500 million; and, more recently, Blackstone acquired a non-performing property developer loan portfolio from CaixaBank. Meanwhile, Lone Star purchased a loan portfolio from Eurohypo for €3,500 million.

Nor does the market rule out the emergence of new players such as Pimco, Chenavari and Deutsche Bank.

Meanwhile, yesterday Fitch increased the rating of Bankia’s mortgage bonds by one notch to A-.

Original story: Expansión (by Jorge Zuloaga)

Translation: Carmel Drake