Hispania Multiplies Its Net Profit By 11 In YTD Sept16

14 November 2016 – Expansión

Hispania, the Socimi in which George Soros owns a stake, has generated net profits of €136.7 million during the first nine months of the year, which represents an almost 11-fold increase compared to the €12.94 million it generated during the same period last year.

The company’s turnover amounted to €100.1 million during the nine months to September 2016, compared with €19.58 million during the same period in 2015. In addition to rental income from the asset portfolio, the revenue figure also includes net bonuses and discounts, and income generated from the direct management of the following hotels: Holiday Inn Bernabéu, Hotel Maza, Hotel Guadalmina Spa & Golf Resort and three hotels in the San Miguel portfolio.

At the end of September, the gross value of the Socimi’s real estate assets amounted to €1,684 million, compared with €1,425 million at the end of last year.

The Board of Directors has approved the payment of a €17 million dividend on 30 November. Hispania will pay a total dividend of €40 million during the financial year 2016, of which €10 million has already been disbursed. The final payment corresponding to 2016 will take place after the next General Shareholders’ Meeting, which is due to be held in 2017.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Competes With Hispania To Become Largest Hotel Socimi

26 July 2016 – Expansión

Merlin, which has incorporated several hotels into its portfolio following its purchase of Testa, now owns 24 properties worth €654 million. Merlin is the largest real estate company and Socimi in Spain.

The merger between Merlin and Metrovacesa will create the largest real estate company and Socimi in Spain, market leader in the office segment and with a leading position in the shopping centre sector. In addition, the new Merlin will be one of the largest hotel lease operators in Spain, which will allow it to catch up with Hispania, the Socimi in which the investor George Soros holds a stake.

Following the integration with Metrovacesa, Merlin will go from owning 12 hotels worth €398 million to having 24 hotels with a gross asset value (GAV) of €654 million. In this way, the new Merlin will increase the value of its assets by 1.6 times following the integration, which is expected to be closed during Q4 2016, after the competition authorities and the general shareholders’ meetings of both companies have approved the deal.

By number of rooms, the union of Merlin and Metrovacesa will give rise to a hotel lease giant, with almost 4,500 rooms and a gross yield of 5.8%. The operation will also allow the group to increase the appeal and liquidity of its hotel division. The hotel business will account for around 7% of the new Merlin, which will have an total asset portfolio worth €9,300 million.

The company’s integrated portfolio of assets will include hotels as iconic as the Eurostars de las Cuatro Torres, inherited from Testa and the Barceló Torre, inherited from Metrovacesa, both located in Madrid.

Ranking

For the time being, Hispania leads Spain’s ranking of the owners of hotels operated and managed by third parties, both in terms of the number of rooms and asset value. At the end of the first quarter, Hispania’s hotel portfolio included 8,234 hotel rooms in total, across 27 hotels, as well as two shopping centres and a plot of land, with a gross value of €862 million. In addition, in March, Hispania acquired the mortgage debt of Dunas Hotels & Resorts from several financial institutions, whereby acquiring 1,183 rooms in four hotels. The group, which owns the Hotel Guadalmina Spa & Golf (Marbella) and the Holiday Inn Bernabéu (Madrid) also bought the Hotel Oasis Resort (Lanzarote) last week. Following that operation, Hispania now owns 35 hotels and more than 10,400 rooms. Merlin’s hotel lease contracts all involve fixed rents, whereas Hispania operates using all types of lease contracts. Some include variable components linked to the evolution of the business. Currently, that is the most common type of lease contract in the hotel sector.

Exit

Nevertheless, Merlin has described its hotel division as “non strategic”, “which means that, in the medium term, it will be looking for a way out of this arm of its business”.

Sources in the sector believe that, if it chooses to exit the hotel business in a single transaction, then we will see a record-breaking operation in the hotel market. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Acquires ‘Holiday Inn Bernabéu’ Hotel

14 October 2015 – El Confidencial

Hispania now has its own flagship building in Azca. The financial heart of Madrid has been one of the main battlegrounds for the large real estate companies in recent months, and their appetite means that there are now barely any opportunities left in the area. Nevertheless, the Socimi led by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio has managed to find a way in. (…).

The company has taken advantage of the voluntary bankruptcy filed in February by Leading Hospitality, owner of the Holiday Inn Bernabéu Hotel in Madrid and the Maza Hotel in Zaragoza, to take control of the company and, as a result, take over the reins of the only four-star hotel in Azca.

In reality, this transaction confers the Socimi ownership of just 52% of the establishment, since that is the stake held by Leading Hospitality in the property that houses the hotel. However, it has taken over 100% of the management of the property, which signed a 25-year franchise contract with IHG (InterContinental Hotel Group), an agreement that is still valid.

By sheer coincidence, the former owner of Leading Hospitality and the man who purchased the Holiday Inn Bernabéu, is an old acquaintance of Azora, the management company of Hispania. He is César Losada, the hotel businessman who also created the fund Losan Hotels World, now called Carey Value Added, which had the backing of the savings banks through Ahorro Corporación.

This investment vehicle ended up owning 14 hotels and 2,000 rooms, spread across the world’s main capital cities. The operation of these establishments was granted to brands such as Marriot, Steigenberger, NH Hoteles, Hotusa and Barceló. But the plans did not evolve as expected and in 2011, Azora received a mandate from Ahorro Corporación to take over the management of Carey and restructure it. (…).

Since its creation, Hispania has been clearly focused on the hotel sector and, in fact, it was a pioneer in the market with the creation of Bay, the first 100% hotel Socimi, which it launched together with Barceló back in February.

But, the entity managed by Azora also has its own hotel portfolio that sits outside of this vehicle; in fact, the first operation that it closed following its debut was the purchase of Hotel Guadalmina, another well known name in the tourism market, which it acquired through the back door and, on this occasion, by purchasing its debt.

That was only the starting point. Hispania is now the owner of NH Pacífico and NH San Sebastián de los Reyes in Madrid, Hotel Hesperia in Las Ramblas, in Barcelona, Gran Hotel Bahía Real and the Suite Hotel Atlantis Resort in Fuerteventura, Meliá Jardines del Teide in Tenerife, and Vincci Málaga.

In total, hotels account for 31% of the gross value of the Socimi’s asset portfolio; another 45% relate to offices and the remaining 24% relates to homes. Hispania’s hotel activity generated revenues of €3.25 million during the first half of this year. In total, the Socimi has 1,439 rooms, plus more than 300 rooms in the Holiday Inn Bernabéu and 6,097 rooms in the Bay portfolio.

Original story: El Confidencial (by R. Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Holiday Inn Bernabéu Files For Bankruptcy

20 April 2015 – Expansión

Madrid / The hotel, which continues to be operational, filed for voluntary bankruptcy at the beginning of this year in order to renegotiate its debt.

Leading Hospitality, the company controlled by the businessman César Losada, which owns the Holiday Inn Madrid Bernabéu hotel and the Hotel Maza in Zaragoza, has filed for bankruptcy to try to restructure its debt and forge ahead (with its business). On 13 January, Leading Hospitality voluntarily adopted this legal status and almost a month later, Commercial Court no. 9 in Madrid declared the procedure open, according to the company’s annual report for the financial year 2014.

Gregorio de la Morena, managing partner at DLM Insolvia, has been appointed as the bankruptcy administrator, although Losada and his team continue to manage the hotel, which is still operational. Sources close to Losada explain that the company filed for bankruptcy because “it had cash flow problems, which prevented it from meeting its short-term debt commitments”. Nevertheless, the intention is that the company will avoid filing for liquidation and instead reach an agreement with its creditors and continue operating.

For the time being, the company is waiting for the bankruptcy administrator to prepare the list of creditors to start negotiations. In addition, Leading Hospitality expects to file a collective dismissal plan (‘expediente de regulación de empleo’ or ERE) to reduce its wage bill – the scope of (that agreement) is being negotiated with the bankruptcy administrators. The hotel employs around 150 people.

In 2013, Leading Hospitality recorded revenues of €7.33 million, but it generated a negative operating profit of -€2.32 million. Net losses reached -€1.92 million and last year, the company also ended the year in the red.

Debt

At the end of 2013, the company had long-term debt amounting to €7.62 million and short-term debt amounting to €1.55 million, as well as several mortgage loans on both of its hotels – with Bankinter over its property in Madrid. Staff salaries and compensation payments amounted to €4.17 million in 2013.

In the accounts for that year, approved in December 2014, the auditor warned that the company was experiencing on-going cash flow problems (to be able to afford to pay) its employees, suppliers and financial partners. And it pointed to the management team’s plan to continue the refurbishment of the hotel, which it says is worth €27 million, and reduce the number of staff.

At the end of 2012, the businessman César Losada became the majority shareholder in the Madrid hotel, after acquiring a 51% stake from the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG). Losada, who is behind the hotel investment company Losan Hotels World, invested €22 million in the acquisition and refurbishment of the four star hotel, which has 313 rooms. The asset is also owned by other individual shareholders and Losada intends to acquire their respective stakes (over time). Following the change of ownership in 2012, the hotel retained the Holiday Inn brand, which is owned by IHG, though a 25 year franchise contract. In 2013, Leading Hospitality paid a €363,754 fee to IHG.

Original story: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake