Hyatt to Operate 2 of Hesperia’s Hotels in Madrid & Barcelona

7 March 2019 – Expansión

After breaking off its alliance with NH last year, following that firm’s takeover by the Thai Group Minor, Hesperia is now joining forces with Hyatt. The US hotel giant is going to take over the operation of the two jewels in Hesperia’s crown: the Hesperia Madrid and the Hesperia Barcelona Tower. Hyatt will operate the two 5-star properties on a franchise basis under its Hyatt Regency brand from Q4 2019.

This deal forms part of a broader strategic approach by Hesperia, which has also teamed up with Apple Leisure Group for the management of four of its holiday hotels.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Regus on the Hunt for Partners to Open 550 Centres Across Spain

8 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Regus wants to expand to the last corner in Spain. The supplier of flexible workspaces has set itself the objective of opening 550 centres in the domestic market and, in order to develop that plan, the company has launched a franchise model through which “we want to be everywhere”, said the Director-General of Regus in Spain, Philippe Jiménez, speaking to Eje Prime.

The franchisees of Regus, as well as their clients “will enjoy the same services as the company’s own centres”, said Jiménez. Currently, there is an “exceptional demand” for flexible workspaces in Spain and the company wants to provide a service that “would be impossible” without this new model, recognises the executive.

“We want to grow quickly and for that, the franchise model is necessary”, explains the Director. In exchange, the company offers its partners the same operating and marketing support that is provided to Regus’s own centres.

Jiménez says that “there will not be any limitations in terms of location”. “We like metropolitan areas in large cities, but also in secondary and tertiary cities too”, he continued. The only conditions that Regus is going to impose are that the franchisee must assume the full investment of the centre and that “the quality of our centres must be maintained”.

“For us, Barcelona and Madrid are the same as any other smaller city”, highlights the executive, who believes that with this expansion, through franchises, the company will provide clients with an increasingly “more efficient and more technological” service.

The new expansion formula that Regus is launching in Spain is a “mandate” that comes from the firm’s parent company, the giant IWG, but one that Jiménez supports. “Having centres all over the place allows you to be more productive”, explains the executive.

A former director of Día will lead the franchise area 

Regus’s new plan in Spain will also have a new director. Luis Herranz will be responsible for managing the expansion of the franchises. Recruited a month ago, the director comes from Día, where he has been working for the last four years. Since 2016, the executive has been the Director of Franchises and Master-franchises at the supermarket chain.

“We are adopting the franchise formula as a key lever in our growth strategy to expand Regus”, says Herranz on the social network Linkedin. It is a “business model that is simple to manage and that generates good returns”, says the director.

In terms of returns, Jiménez says that the flexible office model offers “large cash yields and significant double-digit investment returns”. “The sector of offices as a service is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, and has become the new target for investors and franchise operators”, highlights the Director General of Regus in Spain.

New openings and targets: Murcia, Toledo, Sant Cugat and Gijón

Whilst it searches for its first franchisees, Regus is continuing with its growth plan in Spain. Already present in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Málaga, Bilbao, Palma and Zaragoza, in November, Regus is going to add Murcia and Toledo to its footprint in Spain.

Over the last year, the company has opened 10,600 m2 of new office space. The most recent centres to be inaugurated have been those in Alcobendas and on c/Ortega y Gasset in Madrid; Diagonal Hightech and Sarriá Fórum, in Barcelona; and the Torre Aragonia centre in Zaragoza (…).

The main brand of the giant IWG, which also operates the co-working firm Spaces in Spain, Regus has a presence in 120 countries and more than 1,100 cities with 3,500 centres. The company provides services to more than 2.5 million clients around the world.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Portuguese-based Renovations Expert Melom Arrives in Spain

23 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Melom has started work in Spain. The renovation franchise network, founded in Portugal, has arrived in Madrid with the aim of invoicing up to €50 million in five years. Having launched its business in the Madrilenian market in March, the company already has ten franchises and hopes to grow that figure to fifty by the end of the year. “We have come here to transform the renovation sector”, says José Luis Carrone (pictured below), Director General of the company in the country.

The director, who has extensive experience in the sector, explains that “there is complete dispersion and intrusiveness in this market: we want to integrate all parts of a construction project, as well as to introduce a technological element”. With this idea, Carrona is going to start talking “from September onwards” with investors, at home and overseas, and with insurance companies, with the aim of weaving agreements for collaboration and exclusivity. “Right now in Spain, there are companies buying buildings as investments, to resell or lease, and, clearly, they are a target for us”, revealed the company’s CEO.

The idea is to replicate the model that Melom has built in Portugal where it exclusively performs all of the renovation and facilities work offered in the stores of the DIY giant Leroy Merlin and it collaborates with the network of real estate agencies ReMax. Not in vain, one of Carrone’s partners in Spain and co-founder of the group in Portugal is Manuel Álvarez, President of ReMax in Portugal. Melom’s third associate in Spain is Joao Carvalho.

National expansion in 2019

Through small and medium-sized companies in the renovation and construction sector, Melom aspires to gain ground in Madrid. “The city has an economic strength equivalent to almost the whole of Portugal in this market, and so the opportunities for growth could multiply if we do things well”, said Carrone.

The director, who has been working with investors to renovate buildings in Madrid and Barcelona since 2016, comes from the industrial construction sector where he worked on large oil and gas refineries.

“What I have done in recent years is get to know the market, to see what is needed and that is how Melom appeared on my radar”, said Carrone, who highlights “that the issues of managing the orders that are entrusted to us and the post-sales service that is provided to clients are some of the features that we want to boost in the country”.

For this reason, “although the first objective is to grow in Madrid”, the businessman is already looking with interest at other regions in Spain. “We already have important orders from other communities, but we will not begin to expand the network until next year”, says the executive. One of the first places that Melom will get started is Cataluña, although the company is also interested in other smaller areas of the country. “In the Canary Islands, for example, local players have expressed interest”, reveals Carrone. With expansion into other regions, the company forecasts a turnover of €3.5 million and 90 franchises in the portfolio, which will increase to 200 by 2022.

What is clear, according to the director, is that Spain is “at the perfect moment for this market, given that investors are revaluing the real estate sector, which was in ruins” (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Estate Agents’ Branch Networks Grew By 16.6% In 2016

26 July 2017 – Eje Prime

Estate agents continued to increase their network of branches in the Spanish market last year. The number of new operating establishments opened amounted to 1,287, up by 184 compared to 2015, when 1,103 new premises were opened, according to The Franchise in Spain 2017 report, prepared by the Spanish Association of Franchisers (AEF).

According to the report, there are currently 34 networks operating in the estate agent sector, of which 31 were operational at the end of 2015, which means 3 new chains entered the market in 2016.

In terms of billing data, the sector recorded revenues of €287.7 million in 2016, compared with €231.8 million in 2015, which represents an increase of €55.9 million.

Regarding the jobs that the real estate agency sector has generated, at the end of 2016, it employed 3,499 people, compared with 2,748 in 2015; in other words, it now employs 751 more workers.

“The real estate sector was one of the hardest hit by the crisis, however, it has managed to recover and, after a process of natural selection in the market, only those chains that bring seriousness and professionalism to the sector remain. This has opened up a new, solid and promising panorama”, explains Xavier Vallhonrat, President of the AEF.

Original story: Eje Prime

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

Radisson Wants To Grow In Madrid & Barcelona

30 March 2017 – Expansión

Radisson Blu – the hotel chain belonging to the Carlson Rezidor group, which is itself controlled by the Chinese giant HNA – arrived in Spain in 2009, with the opening of the Radisson Blue Hotel Madrid Prado. Three years later, it opened a resort in Gran Canaria, and just a few months ago it inaugurated its newest hotel in the country, the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, also in Gran Canaria.

Radisson Blu owns almost 300 hotels in 69 countries. Now, the company wants to strengthen its commitment to Spain and to this end, it is analysing Madrid and Barcelona with particular interest, as key destinations for the opening of new establishments under the Blu and Red brands. “Spain represents an opportunity. We perform most of our expansion through management contracts or franchises, which means that we are not interested in leases, however the properties must always be in good locations”, explained Richard Moore, Vice President for Western Europe, the UK and Ireland at Radisson Blu.

HNA Tourism Group completed the purchase of Carlson Hotels last year and so took over control of 51.3% of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which operates in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, where it competes with NH, in which HNA also holds a stake. (…).

Moore added that the chain has studied options on the Mediterranean coast but that, for the firm to open a hotel, it “has to fit with our brand. We are proud of the way we make our brands fit with the properties and of our relationships with the property owners”.

Specifically, in the case of its most recent hotel in the Canary Islands, the chain has reached an agreement with the Norwegian family group Wenaasgruppen, which owns 24 hotels. It is the second time that the company has worked with the Norwegian group, which also owns the other hotel that Radisson manages in Gran Canaria. (…).

Moore added “There are lots of reasons why we want to have a presence in Spain and, above all, in Gran Canaria”. He said that, in the last twelve months, the number of tourist arrivals in Gran Canaria has grown by 14% and the average revenue per room (RevPar) has risen by 18% – or 15% in the case of luxury hotels -. “25 airlines fly to 142 destinations from Gran Canaria in 25 countries. It is the second most popular destination after Tenerife”, he said.


In terms of risks to the business, Moore does not think that Brexit will have a significant impact on tourism in the islands and less so on the hotels that the group manages, which are upscale establishments (five stars) with a very diversified client base. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebecca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Converts Solvia Into A RE Franchise

14 October 2016 – Cinco Días

Banco Sabadell is very clear about its future, it wants to take advantage of the boom in the real estate sector to harness the stock of foreclosed assets that it still holds on its balance sheet, which it largely inherited from CAM.

To date, the bank chaired by Josep Oliu has decided to hold onto Solvia, the platform that owns all of its foreclosed assets. Initially, it planned to list it on the stock market, but it quickly ruled out that option. It also studied several offers to sell a majority stake in its real estate platform to large investment funds, like other players in the sector did, including Santander with Altamira and Popular with Aliseda, amongst others. But, it also decided against that idea after it saw demand for real estate grow in recent years.

Since 2013, when the market for the sale of properties became active once again, the heads of Solvia have seen that the transactions that have grown by the most, albeit timidly, are those between individuals. And as such, Sabadell has decided to offer its services to third parties, on both the buy side and sell side. In this way, Solvia “is beginning a new phase in which it is placing its strategic focus on offering its services not only to those interested to buy a home, as it has done to date, but now also to individuals wishing to sell their homes”, explained the bank.

To this end, it is going to restructure its commercial network, by turning Solvia into a franchiser. It will thereby create a network of franchisees with physical branches across Spain. Each franchisee will have the right to sell assets owned by Solvia’s current clients (Sabadell, Sareb and various funds) and by individuals whose homes are located in their respective area. Solvia will also have its own network which, for the time being, will comprise two offices, one in Sevilla and one in Alicante. The idea is that by the end of the year, Solvia will have 12 of its own offices and 24 franchised branches. It will also be able to sell properties through the bank’s branch network. In this way, Sabadell will compete directly with estate agents such as Tecnocasa and Redpiso, for example.

Sources at the real estate agents consulted are certain that other banks will follow Sabadell’s lead. Solvia’s franchisee offer is open to both the network of approved real estate agents (Apis), as well as to other professionals in the sector, such as entrepreneurs and investors. The idea is that Sabadell will reserve a certain number of locations for young people (recent graduates with excellent academic records) who want to start a business and learn on the job.

Since 2012, Solvia has been one of the firms that has sold the most properties in Spain. Its sales have exceeded €2,500 million year after year on a recurring basis, say sources at the bank. An important proportion of these transactions involve the sale of homes and as such, the project to become a real estate agent has been born. (…).

Original story: Cinco Días (Ángeles Gonzalo Alconada)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Paradores to Grow Through Franchising

24/10/2014 – Expansion

Paradores chooses growing through franchising business. The governmental company is in talks with several chains and private investors on adding new establishments to its network in exchange for operating under the brand name of Paradores. First hotel franchises could open at the end of 2014 or at the beginning of 2015, said Angeles Alarco, chairwoman of Paradores, during her hearing at a conference organized by Cehat, Spanish Hotel Confederation.

Mrs. Alarco highlighted, though, that ‘the growth will be restricted’ as the main goal is to preserve the brand’s values. According to a dossier posted on web site of the chain, there is a set of requirements to be met in order to join the network: having an operating four -or more- star establishment, located inside the trading influence of the present network, in a historically important or coastal property close to or in a large city.


Paradores seeks long-term partners, holding first-class establishments or willing to operate in such. In terms of renumeration, the franchisee will pay starting fees and a commission for the brand use, as well as for adaptation and maintenance of the hotel in line with the Paradores standards.

The chairwoman reported a 4% year-to-date increase in international client volume and an 8% rise in the number of Spanish tourists.


Original article: Expansión (by Y. Blanco)

Translation: AURA REE