Portobello Capital Buys Blue Sea Hotels For c. €70M

9 March 2017 – El Economista

The private equity fund Portobello is on a roll. According to sources consulted by El Economista, the firm has purchased the hotel chain Blue Sea for around €70 million.

The transaction involves the acquisition of 17 hotel establishments, located mainly in the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, plus two that the hotel chain owns in Morocco (one in Berkane and one in Marrakech). The hotel chain’s turnover amounts to around €50 million. Sebastiá Catalá will continue to lead the company – he will also retain his 5% stake – meanwhile, Portobello has recruited Franciso Gimena (ex-Globalia) for the role of Vice President.

As a result of this operation, the fund controlled by Íñigo Sánchez-Asiaín, Juan Luis Ramírez, Ramón Cerdeiras and Luis Peñarrocha will make its debut in the tourist sector, a business that it has been interested in for a while, given the positive performance of the market in Spain. In this regard, the country received 75.3 million tourist visitors last year – which represents an increase of 9.9% with respect to 2015 – of which, almost 25% opted to visit the Balearic and Canary Islands, where Blue Sea has its star hotels. The hotel chain also has a presence in Madrid, Torremolinos (Málaga) and Benidorm (Alicante).

PE house on a roll

Portobello Capital is enjoying one of its best periods since it was founded in 2011 by former partners of Ibersuizas. Its first investment vehicle has been invested in its entirety in record time – in fact, the firm has received several awards in recent months for its operations – and it has now completed several divestments, such as of its geriatric business (Vitalia Plus), which it sold on Monday to the fund CVC Capital Partners for between €200 million and €250 million.

Original story: El Economista (by Araceli Muñoz)

Translation: Carmel Drake