6 February 2019 – Expansión
Jesús Ger, the founder and owner of the Marina d’Or holiday city, is looking again at the Arab countries to find an investor with whom to consolidate his business project. And in that respect, all indications are that the Qatari investment fund Sama Global Investment is going to become the new financial partner of Marina d’Or.
Ger’s group, which has promoted and which manages the popular holiday city located in Oropesa del Mar (Castellón), has been actively looking to incorporate partners for years, especially since the end of the real estate bubble paralysed its investments in other countries and threatened the continuity of its property development business.
The business includes the Marina d’Or Golf project, which was the largest urban development plan undertaken by the Community of Valencia spanning a surface area of 18 million m2, which was suspended by the courts and due to a lack of funds. Initially, Ger was looking for capital willing to finance part of the colossal €6 billion investment forecast for the macro-urbanisation around the themed golf course and hotel.
In 2015, it was even understood that the Chinese group Wanda was going to acquire a majority stake in the Castellón-based group after reports were published to that effect by an official news outlet of the Chinese Communist Party. The truth was that, although Marina d’Or maintained contact with several Chinese investors, Wanda was not one of them.
Focus on the tourist business
Now, however, the interest of the Qatari fund is focused on Hoteles Marina d’Or, the company that manages the tourist activity in the Castellón resort and which includes seven establishments – two outside of the complex -, the rental of tourist apartments and the operation of the restaurant area, the spa and the attraction parks in the holiday city. In recent years, those activities have generated revenues of more than €40 million per year and, unlike the real estate business, they are still profitable.
The interest from Sama Global, which dates back to 2017, appears to focus on replicating the holiday city model in other international markets. In fact, the fund, which is headquartered in Doha, has already closed its first operation to become a partner in a property developer and operator in the Philippines, Premiere Horizon Alliance Corporation, which is listed in Manila (…).
Official sources from Marina d’Or acknowledged yesterday that conversations are being held with a Qatari fund, but they said that they are still in an initial phase and are not close to completion yet (…).
Original story: Expansión (by A.C.A.)
Translation: Carmel Drake