Aina Purchases 50% Of Gran Hotel Velázquez From Didra Group

25 July 2017 – Expansión

Aina Hospitality – the fund promoted by Edmond de Rothschild and Jaume Tàpies – has purchased 50% of the iconic Gran Hotel Velázquez from the Didra Group. The property is located at number 62 of the Madrilenian street whose name it bears.

This asset, located in the neighbourhood of Salamanca, just a stone’s throw from the Retiro park and in the heart of Madrid’s golden mile, has been owned by the Didra Group for just a few months. It is currently undergoing a comprehensive renovation with the aim of ascending its category.

Together with the Didra Group, owned by the Ardid Villoslada family, Aina Hospitality will reposition the property, transforming it into a five-star hotel. Last year, the family office owned by the Ardid family reached an agreement with the Salazar family – the former owners of SOS Cuétara – to purchase this hotel for €63 million and now, almost a year later, it has decided to open up the share capital to Aina Hospitality.

At the moment, the four-star Gran Hotel Velázquez, has 143 rooms but it recently closed its doors to undergo a complete refurbishment.

Repositioning

Following its renovation, the hotel will have 111 rooms and suites, a restaurant, a rooftop terrace, cinema, bowling alley, luxury spa and fitness centre.

Tàpies, the CEO of Aina Hospitality, highlighted the excellent location of the hotel: “Madrid is a cultural, historical and leisure destination and it is a tourist and financial centre. This hotel is located in the centre of the city, close to some of the most important tourist attractions and the historical centre”.

The operation represents Aina Hospitality’s seventh investment in Europe and is in line with the investment strategy carried out by the manager to date. Aina Hospitality purchases high-end properties – with four- and five-stars ratings. In addition to Madrid, the fund has recently made acquisitions in Paris, Eindhoven, Vienna, Brussels and Berlin.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Stoneweg Will Construct 2,000 Homes During 2017

22 May 2017 – El Mundo

(…) In line with the strong performance of the Spanish economy and, more specifically, the residential market, the real estate investment platform Stoneweg, a company that manages funds on behalf of institutional investors and family offices in Europe and Latin America, has just made its official presentation, confirming that it has €750 million to invest in property development in Spain during 2017.

Although headquartered in Switzerland, the company was founded in 2015 by two Spaniards, Jaume Sabater and Joaquín Castellví, who both previously worked in the Real Estate area at the investment bank Edmond de Rothschild. Over the last few years, Stoneweg’s investment capacity in real estate assets has exceeded €1,600 million, spread across Spain, the USA, Italy and a small part of Switzerland. (…).

Commitment to Spain

“We decided to take positions in Spain in 2015, buying land and buildings from financial institutions, Sareb and individual owners”, said Joaquín Castellví, Stoneweg’s CEO in Spain. The reasons for the firm’s commitment to Spain include its confidence in the strength of the economic recovery, the “attractive” financing conditions being offered for real estate assets and the “speed and transparency” with which the firm is able to access and close operations with local agents. “Moreover”, added Castellví, “mortgages for real estate assets are increasing again, which means that the Spanish market will be the ideal place to sell assets in around five years”.

Stoneweg’s main investment focus is on the residential market (where it will allocate two-thirds of its capital under management) be it the development of new homes or the renovation of existing buildings. To this end, the modus operandi of the management company, which has already invested €450 million of the €750 million that it is planning to spend this year, consists of closing operations to purchase land or buildings with tickets of between €100 million and €150 million to build on themselves or in conjunction with local property developers.

Currently, the company has 30 residential projects underway (in varying phases), with a total of 1,300 homes, which are due to be ready at various points between this year and 2020. It also plans to close the year with 50 projects in its portfolio, corresponding to 2,000 homes for sale.

Stoneweg insists on building homes “in accordance with the highest international standards, to ensure an extraordinary level of comfort”.

In terms of their locations of choice, Castellví confirmed that his company is focusing on Madrid, Barcelona and the Mediterranean Coast, “but” he says, “ we are flexible both in terms of the type of project, as well as location within the aforementioned areas”. (…).

Original story: El Mundo (by Luis M. De Ciria)

Translation: Carmel Drake