Mexican Millionaire Sanginés-Krause Acquires Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid for €210M

20 November 2018 – El Confidencial

The finishing touches still need to be agreed but the parties have already shaken hands. The Mexican millionaire Allen Sanginés-Krause has just surprised the Spanish hotel sector by signing the purchase of the luxury hotel Villa Magna for a whopping €210 million, according to confirmation from sources familiar with the transaction. In reality, the vehicle that is finalising the acquisition is the Mexican Socimi specialising in Caribbean resorts, RLH Properties, of which the banker is President and a major shareholder.

Hotel Villa Magna was put up for sale in hurry just a few months ago, after its current owners, the Turkish emporium owned by the Sahenk family, was forced to divest several of its real estate assets around the world to complete the refinancing of its holding company, which was affected by the collapse of the Turkish lira. The process, which has been entrusted to JLL, has progressed in the fast lane, with several other Latin American magnates invited to bid.

Although the final completion of the deal is pending several details, the price exceeds all expectations. RLH Properties is going to acquire Villa Magna at a ratio of €1.4 million per room (the hotel has 150), a figure never achieved before in the Spanish market, according to hotel experts. The profitability of an investment such as this is beyond the magnitude that the real estate funds manage, taking into account that there are five-star hotels available in Madrid from €300 per room.

The buyer has thrown the chequebook to acquire this trophy property. Besides money, it has experience as a manager of hotel assets for luxury brands such as Four Seasons, Rosewood and Fairmont. In fact, it completed one of its closest acquisitions with OHL, from which it purchased its Mayakoba Caribbean complex (a resort with a golf course in the Riviera Maya) in two phases (between 2016-2018), for which it paid €470 million in total.

Sanginés-Krause’s relationship with the Spanish world transcends the sphere of business. His name was in the news a few months ago after it was revealed that he had hosted King Juan Carlos at his castle in Ireland. That private visit came to the attention of the press and it was discovered that the monarch was accompanied during his stay by his Mallorcan friend Marta Gayá. The meeting shows the degree of confidence that the emeritus has with the Mexican banker (former of Goldman Sachs and now head of BK Partners).

If this investment goes ahead, the list of Mexican companies taking roots in Spain will continue to grow. The second-to-last major operation saw the acquisition of Grupo VIPS by the restaurant holding company Alsea, which paid almost €500 million to acquire the company founded by Plácido Arango and his family. And based on the rate of purchases, it will not be the last big deal to star money proceeding from Mexico.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Carlos Hernanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hotel Investors Switch Their Focus To Spain’s Second Cities

20 July 2017 – Expansión

Hotels have become of the star assets of the real estate sector with Socimis and investment funds lining up to buy them. And the forecasts show that these actors are set to consolidate their presence in Spain, gaining ground on the hotel groups – which will continue their commitment to a strategy focused increasingly more on management and less on ownership – and will analyse new secondary locations, in light of price rises and the decreasing yields in prime cities.

According to the Hotel Asset Management 2017 report, prepared by Magma HC, three-star hotels captured the attention of investors last year, given that they represent the most attractive asset for implementing repositioning models and improving prices. Specifically, 38% of the transactions closed in 2016 involved three-star hotels, 28% related to four-star properties, 24% to low-cost establishments and the remaining 9% to five-star hotels.

Albert Grau, Managing Partner at Magma HC, explained yesterday that the transaction market will shift its focus to the holiday segment, over the next few months, due to the (high) value of assets in prime urban destinations, such as Barcelona, Madrid, Málaga, San Sebastián and Palma de Mallorca, which are at levels that compromise their future profitability.

Although in previous years, the urban hotel market was the most sought-after by investors, in 2016, it accounted for just 33% of operations, whereas the holiday segment increased to account for 66% of the total. “Prices in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona have peaked, and purchases to generate wealth or profitability are complicated given the numbers”, said Grau.

By contrast, he considers that Spain’s secondary cities offer “great opportunities” for investors thanks to the significant potential that they hold and the fact that there are well-located assets there at “very attractive” prices.

However, the partner at Magma HC considers that the sector is a long way from a bubble, thanks to the greater professionalisation and the new requirements in terms of indebtedness levels.

Moreover, the report highlights that the Spanish hotel sector can expect to see new operations between hotel groups, such as between Starwood and Marriott, Fairmont and Grupo Accord and the purchase of Sidorme by B&B Hotels.

Commitment to rent

In terms of the business model, the most popular formula is still rental. Grau underlines that, given the strong performance of the market, owners who took the decision to bet on variable rentals are now receiving greater returns. In addition, the partner at Magma HC believes that the period of rent renegotiations, seen in previous years, is now over.

According to Magma HC’s report, hotel groups own 37% of their assets, lease 33% of them, manage 18% and operate 13% as franchises.

Grau explains that “more Anglo-Saxon” operations – management and franchising – are not growing, but continue to have a specific weight in the market and there is a growing trend to adopt them increasingly more, in line with international standards.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mandarin Oriental Enters The Bidding War To Buy The Ritz

12 February 2015 – Cinco Días

A new chapter has begun in the bidding war to buy the Ritz in Madrid, one of the most emblematic hotels in the capital. The property has been on the market for almost two years, but may have a new owner in a matter of days. Mandarin Oriental, one of the largest Asian luxury hotel chains, has set its sights on the hotel, which is currently controlled by Orient-Express and Omega Capital, the investment company owned by Alicia Koplowitz.

The owners of the Ritz have been looking for a buyer for the property for almost two years, which, despite its prime location and the power of its brand, has lost much of its appeal in recent years, due to a lack of investment. This has meant that all of the operators that have shown an interest in acquiring the property have identified the need to undertake a major refurbishment, which has played against a quick sale.

Despite that, Orient-Express, now known as Belmond, and Omega have remained steadfast in their price expectations, which led Marriott to placing an offer for €130 million on the table; the transaction fell through at the last minute, when it seemed like every blessing had been given. The problem was that, by adding the purchase cost to the amount required to reform the property, the buyer considered that the final result was infeasible.

Fairmont took over the reins in the bidding process during the second half of last year, by offering €120 million for the property, whose refurbishment it valued at around €60 million. The luxury hotel chain analysed all kinds of options to try to close the transaction successfully, ranging from reselling the rights of the Ritz brand to Marriott – which would have allowed its rival to use the brand throughout the Iberian Peninsular – to addressing the possibility of operating the asset under its second brand, Raffles.

But, according to several market sources close to the negotiations, Fairmont has now also withdrawn from the bidding, leaving the way open for Mandarin. The Asian player may end up closing this complex transaction, mediated by JLL, through an agreement whereby it takes on a management role, but which, in any case, will allow the Asian chain to establish itself in Madrid, a market that it has been analysing with much interest for over a year.

After acquiring numbers 38 and 40 on the exclusive Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona, overlooking Casa Batlló, the Hong Kong firm opened its first property in Spain at the end of 2009. With this investment now well established, the Asian hotel chain has plans to grow in the country, both in Barcelona and, above all, in Madrid.

Luxury hotels arrive in Madrid

The emergence of Four Seasons in the capital, which has reached an agreement with OHL Desarrollos to open the luxury Canalejas complex, has been a catalyst for the Madrilenian hotel market. The large international chains have set their sights on the city and deals are expected to be signed for properties such as the Hotel Villa Magna, the Hotel Miguel Ángel and the old headquarters of Asturiana de Minas; without forgetting the Edificio España, which was acquired by the Chinese Group Dalian Wanda.

These deals will follow others agreed in the last few months, such as the opening of Barceló’s four star hotel in the Torre de Madrid, the conversion of the Hotel Asturias into a boutique hotel and the transformation of the historical Tio Pepe building into a 5 star hotel.

Omega Capital and Belmond acquired the Ritz twelve years ago for €125 million. The strong impact of the economic crisis on the hotel sector in the capital, with declining tourist numbers and low prices, in addition to the cost of the pending renovation of the emblematic hotel, has taken its toll on the brand, for which an impairment loss of €12 million was recorded in 2013, the last full period for which official results are available.

Original story: Cinco Días (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Fairmont Settles in Rey Juan Carlos I Hotel in Barcelona

3/10/2014 – Cinco Dias

Hotel chain Fairmont has chosen Barcelona for opening its first establishment in Spain. The Canadian firm will manage the Rey Juan Carlos I hotel (named after the previous King of Spain, translator’s note), operated by now bankrupt Husa until 2013.

The establishment will be renamed the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I, Barcelona in the upcoming months and renovated next year. The 432-room hotel belongs to Barcelona Projects, controlled by Saudi Prince Turki ben Naser.

FRHI International and Fairmont chairwoman Jennifer Fox assured that ‘the asset is a jewel in our portfolio, situated in such an important city as the “entrance door to Europe”. The businesswoman also put emphasis on the poplarity of Barcelona among tourists and the role the Catalonian capital plays in the Mediterranean cruise industry.

By landing on the Spanish land, Fairmont joins other big-name hotel chains, such as Four Seasons (to open two establishments: in Barcelona and in Madrid) and Hyatt.

Fairmont manages 65 hotels all over the world, with such iconic buildings as the one on the New York Square, the Savoy in London or the Fairmont Monte Carlo.

 

Original article: Cinco Días (by L. S.)

Translation: AURA REE

Fairmont Makes For Madrid’s Ritz As Marriott Withdraws From the Bidding

23/09/2014 – Expansion

A new bidder joined the auction of Hotel Ritz in Madrid. As Marriott backtracked on its €130 million bid for the one of the most beautiful hotel jewels in Spain, Fairmont barged in to compete for it. The property belongs to Omega Capital of Alicia Koplowitz and to Orient-Express, holding 50% of it each.

In 2003, the owners bought the establishment for €125 million from Le Meridien.

In May, the partners hired JLL (former Jones Lang LaSalle) to look for a new purchaser in the middle of fever caused by the arrival of Four Seasons to the capital. The high-end chain from Canada is going to open a hotel inside the Canalejas complex in 2017.

The move convinced many international chains to invest in Madrid. For instance, such brands as Mandarin Oriental, Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton or InterContinental are already eyeing the market. Therefore, the bidding for the Ritz establishment was expected to be more fierce.

Marriott outbid all the competitors with its €130 million offer ,however in the last moment the board of directors of the famous chain opted out. Purchase of the 137-room and 30-suite hotel also means a €40- to 50-million investment in its refurbishment.

Fairmont was officially founded in 1907 but its roots reach the year 1885. In 1999, the chain fell in hands of a hotel branch of Canadian Pacific Railway but its brand name was saved. In 2006, Fairmont joined Raffles and Swissôtel in a holding, called FRHI, managing 110 hotels in Europe and U.S.A. Four years later, Qatari Diar paid €847 million for a 40% stake at the holding and offered buying the share of Colony Capital.

The Qatari fund acquired Hotel Vela for €200 million and, at the beginning of this year, Hotel Renaissance for €78.5 million from Marriott, both properties found in Barcelona.

Hotel Ritz itself is a collateral for the loan that its owners borrowed from Eurohypo and which was included in the mega-NPL sale called the Octopus Project, finally sold to U.S. fund Lone Star.

 

Original article: Expansión (by Y. Blanco & J. Zuloaga)

Translation: AURA REE