Hispania Fights Off Competition from Blackstone to Acquire Alua Hotel Portfolio

21 December 2017 – Eje Prime

Hispania is expanding its portfolio after defeating Blackstone. The Spanish Socimi and US fund were bidding for Alua Hotels’ island portfolio, comprising seven resorts in the Canary and Balearic Islands. The properties in question will now pass into the hands of the company managed by the Azora group, in exchange for the payment of €165 million.

With this acquisition, the company, in which George Soros holds a stake, has almost completed its hotel investment plans, in which the purchase of large hotel complexes on the Spanish islands plays a significant weight, according to a report submitted by Hispania to Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV).

The assets acquired by the Socimi comprise AluaSoul Palma, AluaSoul Mallorca Resort, AluaSoul Alcudia Bay, AluaSoul Ibizia and AluaSun Torrenova, in the Balearic Islands; and Ambar Beach and Parque San Antonio, in the Canary Islands. The 1,700 rooms in the portfolio will continue to be operated by Alua Hotels.

After formalising this operation, Hispania now owns almost 13,000 rooms across 45 hotels. Currently, the valuation of the company is estimated to amount to more than €2 billion, mostly thanks to its hotel assets, although it also owns office buildings and homes.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ayco Plans To Raise Up To €100M Through A Capital Increase

21 November 2017 – Expansión

The property developer Ayco plans to carry out a capital increase amounting to between €50 million and €100 million to allow new investors to acquire shares and to accelerate its business plan for the next few years. “We would like to carry out this capital increase, which has been authorised by the General Shareholders’ Meeting, at some point in 2018. For us, it will represent our definitive return to the market”, explained the firm’s President and CEO, Francisco García Beato.

Ayco is the oldest listed real estate company in Spain. The property developer, founded in 1941, with the name Inmobiliaria Alcázar and in which the Valencian businessman Onofre Miguel held a stake at the time, was one of the many victims of the real estate crisis that took hold in 2007. The property developer went on to complete a restructuring process, involving the transfer of some of its assets to Sareb at the end of 2014, and several months later, it welcomed the entry of new investors, including Alpha Moonlight, amongst others.

“After successfully completing the restructuring process, the company, which is currently listed on the “open outcry market”, is the ideal vehicle for investors looking for transparency, governance and to make their investments liquid through the stock market”, added García.

Ayco, which has own funds amounting to €8 million and a market capitalisation of €26 million, is currently working on a property development project in Palma de Mallorca, involving the construction of 24 homes on independent plots. It also owns a plot measuring 25,733 m2 between the municipalities of Gibraltar and La Línea de la Concepción, where it is building a four-star hotel with 250 rooms.

Hotel Byblos

In addition, last year, Ayco purchased Hotel Byblos (in Mijas), one of the most iconic establishments on the Costa del Sol in its heydey, for €9.75 million. This hotel, which has been closed for six years, used to be owned by the property developer Aifos, which filed for insolvency in 2009. Following a comprehensive renovation, the company plans to reopen the hotel – which will have 288 rooms, of which 65 will be newly built luxury suites – in the summer of 2019.

To this end, the firm is currently holding negotiations with hotel operators interested in participating in the project, from both a management and financing perspective. “Having a significant volume of resources tied up in a single asset has an opportunity cost. The ideal scenario would be for us to identify an operational and financial partner that would allow us to retain control and in turn participate in the generation of value for the project”.

García revealed that Ayco is negotiating with one international chain that does not currently have a presence in Spain and one Spanish hotel operator. In both cases, the partners work with real estate investors.

Ayco also owns land with a buildable surface area of 85,000 m2 in Málaga, Sevilla and Cádiz, where it plans to build around 800 homes. Moreover, it is evaluating operations to buy plots for the construction of another 1,000 homes in Andalucía, the Balearic Islands, Madrid and the north of Spain. Specifically, it plans to spend €15 million on the execution of those purchase opportunities.

The company will close 2017 with a turnover of around €5 million and a net profit of €500,000. It expects to generate earnings of €10 million in 2018 and of up to €24 million in 2022.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sabadell Considers Listing HI Partners As A Socimi

29 May 2017 – Eje Prime

A new IPO may be on the horizon for the real estate arm of one of the large Spanish banks. Banco Sabadell is analysing the option of debuting its subsidiary HI Partners, through which it owns a portfolio of 31 hotels across Spain, on the stock market as a Socimi.

According to Expansión, the bank has engaged the investment banks Citi, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse to study the feasibility of the placement, whose final green light will depend on the entity’s President, Josep Oliu. The eventual debut on the stock market could take place after the summer.

Led by Alejandro Hernández-Puértolas and chaired by Enric Rovira, HI Partners was founded in 2015 by Sabadell to enable the Catalan entity to concentrate the ownership of the real estate assets linked to the tourist sector that it obtained as a result of foreclosures, into a single company. Through two companies, HI Partners Value Added and HI Partners Gestión Activa, the firm now owns 31 hotels with more than 3,500 rooms, which are managed by various hotel operators.

The group’s assets include establishments in Tenerife (the Hotel Jardín Tropical), Marbella (Incosol), Sitges (Terramar), Valencia (Acteon), Málaga (an establishment run by the hotel chain Silken) and Mallorca (the Hilton Sa Torre). In addition, HI Partners manages €800 million of the bank’s hotel debt.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Buys Hotel Oasis Resort In Lanzarote For €28M

22 July 2016 – Expansión

The Socimi Hispania, through its subsidiary Bay Hotels & Leisure, has acquired 100% of the company Inversiones Inmobiliarias Oasis Resort, owner of the Hotel Oasis Resort located in Costa Teguise (Lanzarote), from CaixaBank and Metrópolis for €28 million.

After this operation, the Barceló Group will operate the hotel under a lease contract, which forms part of the framework agreement that governs all of the hotels operated by the group.

The 4-star property has 372 rooms and is located right on the beachfront, opposite Hotel Barceló Lanzarote.

As part of its investment strategy, the group is considering integrating this asset with Hotel Barceló Lanzarote, with the aim of creating a mega resort with almost 800 rooms on the beachfront.

Although the hotel was refurbished recently, an investment of €4 million is planned to bring it up to Barceló’s standards.

Following this acquisition, Hispania now owns 35 hotels, primarily in the vacation segment, and so has more than 10,400 rooms, making it the largest (non-operator) hotel owner in Spain.

According to Hispania’s CEO, Concha Osácar, the Canary Islands is a key market for the company, given its stable occupancy rates throughout the year and its high degree of exposure to European tourists.

On 18 July, Hispania acquired 100% of the shares in the company Later Deruser, owner of the Hotel Paradise Portinatx in Ibiza (Balearic Islands) for €11 million, which will also be operated by Barceló.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Which Hotels Are Most Sought After By The Socimis?

22 June 2016 – Hosteltur.com

Javier Arús, Head of Investments at Hispania, spoke at a conference last week entitled “Spain: Hotspot for international hotel investment”, organised by the Real Estate Alumni Club of Instituto de Empresa at the IE Business School.

There, he highlighted that the number of operations involving asset repositionings are on the rise, such Hispania’s acquisition of the Ibizan hotel chain San Miguel last week for €32 million. That deal involved the purchase of three mid-range hotels in Ibiza, where significant investments will be made to reposition the properties and convert them into premium assets. This type of operation, “with hotels in very attractive destinations and excellent locations, allows us to develop new products, almost from scratch, and obtain very significant resturns on our investments”, said Arús.

The Head of Investments at Hispania also spoke about the contractual relationships that exist between the Socimi and the operators of the hotels it has acquired to date. He stressed his firm’s preference for mixed lease contracts, which guarantee a minimum level of rental income and offer a variable rental income component to complement the fixed revenue stream. (…).

Meliá’s commitment

Meanwhile, Ángel Luis Rodríguez, Vice-President of Portfolio Management at Meliá Hotels International confirmed that the hotel chain is not currently entertaining the possibility of structuring its assets under a Socimi framework. Rather, the firm has committed itself to the creation of a very specialised real estate manager within the existing company structure, without any need to legally separate the hotel manager’s assets. Moreover, it is focusing its efforts on investing in technology and in core assets. 80% of the hotels in its portfolio operate under management frameworks.

Rodríguez agrees with Javier Arús that there are excellent opportunities to be had from “measured” repositioning of vacation hotel assets. By way of example, he described Meliá’s Calviá Beach project and highlighted the increase in value and quality that it has represented for a tourist destination such as Magaluf. There, the chain, which operates 3,200 rooms, has adopted a deliberate strategy that has allowed it to increase RevPar (revenues per available room) in the area by between 70-80% in a short period of time and with a very limited Capex investment.

Its brand-focused strategy is allowing the company to “enjoy a ‘virtuous circle’: brand strategy + investment in repositioning = increase in ARR (average room rate) and RevPar – Greater client satisfaction and loyalty – Increase in asset value – Better segmentation of customers – Higher direct sales – Higher Returns”.

The three speakers (Javier Faus, President of Meridia Capital also spoke), all experts in the hotel sector, agree that Spain may be able to maintain the level of growth in the hotel sector, if its supply is renewed and updated to reflect the expectations of international tourists, who are genuinely very fond of our country. They also highlight the importance of professionalising the operation of assets and investing in technology to deepen client knowledge and loyalty.

Original story: Hosteltur.com

Translation: Carmel Drake

Colonial To Open 4-Star Hotel In Former Palace In Almería

9 June 2015 – Expansión

The real estate group Colonial is branching out from its traditional office market. It will open a resort hotel in Mojácar (Almería) in the next few weeks.

(…)

The building has been closed for years and so Colonial has undertaken a complete renovation of the property over the last few months. The facilities include the former Palace of the Marqués de Chávarri, constructed at the beginning of the last century, which will house some of the hotel’s common areas as well as some of the suites. It also has a large modern annex building which contains 140 rooms in total.

The hotel will be operated by the Catalan chain Fergus, under its Fergus Style brand. It will be called the Gran Hotel Palacio de la Marina and will be a four star establishment. It is located in the Marina de la Torre development, next to Marina Golf, an 18-hole course. The hotel has a fitness room, spa and several rooms for conferences and events.

Fergus Hotels, headquartered in Santa Susanna (Barcelona) operates 17 hotels in Mallorca, Ibiza, the coast of Barcelona, the Costa Brava (Gerona) and the coast of Almería.

(…)

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania And Barceló Create A Resort Hotel Socimi

25 February 2015 – Hispania Press Release

Hispania and Barceló create a resort hotel Socimi (REIT) with 16 hotels and an initial targeted investment of 421 million euro.

The first investment will be the acquisition of 3,946 keys (11 hotels and 1 shopping centre) plus the option to acquire additional assets reaching more than 6,000 keys (16 hotels) and 2 shopping centres currently owned by Grupo Barceló

Hispania will invest 339 million euro for an 80.5% stake in the new company, which will become a subsidiary of Hispania

The new REIT will be the first hotel REIT exclusively focused on holiday resort, targeting a minimum of 12,000 keys in Spain

Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios, S.A. has communicated to the Spanish Stock Market Regulator, CNMV, that its subsidiary Hispania Real SOCIMI, S.A.U, (hereinafter “Hispania”) has signed an agreement with Grupo Barceló (hereinafter, Barceló) for the creation of the first hotel REIT focused on the holiday resort segment; an industry in which Spain is one of the leaders worldwide.

Part of this agreement includes the acquisition by Hispania in an initial phase of 11 hotels (3,946 keys) and 1 shopping centre. Later on, Hispania will have the option to acquire 5 additional hotels (2,151 keys) along with a second shopping centre. The agreement is subject to the successful completion of the due diligence process.

Once the transaction is completed and the option on the 5 additional hotels executed, Hispania will have invested 339 million euro, obtaining an 80.5% stake in the new REIT. Grupo Barceló will maintain 19.5% with the option to reach up to 49% through future capital increases.

Barceló will remain as the operator of the acquired hotels through lease contracts with an initial term of 15 years.

The valuation of the 16 hotels and 2 shopping centres amounts to 421 million euro. It is expected that the REIT, following the execution of the option, will have an initial equity of 187 million euro and a syndicated loan amounting to 234 million euro. Hispania’s capital contribution will amount to a maximum amount of 151 million euro (total attributable investment of 339 million euro).

The initial asset portfolio will have pro forma rental income of approximately 45 million euro (40 million euro pro forma 2014).

The Barceló assets included in this agreement comprise most of its resort portfolio in Spain, located in the Canary Islands, Andalusia and the Balearic Islands; touristic destinations which have had a strong performance during the last few years and are expected to continue consolidating their position in the future. Out of the 16 hotels, more than 90% of the rooms available are 4* category and are leaders in their respective influence areas.

Hispania and Barceló have agreed to invest together an additional 35 million euro in the short term in order to complete the repositioning and updating of some of the properties.

“Spain is the third most important touristic destination in the world, preceded only by France and the United States”, commented Concha Osácar, Board Member of Hispania. “Spain has almost twice the number of resort keys than the United States, as well as a well-diversified tourist base, with British, German and French visitors representing more than 50% of the total. This illustrates the opportunities which the industry offers in Spain”.

The agreement signed between Hispania and Barceló will allow them to start an ambitious plan focused on increasing the portfolio of the new REIT, through hotel acquisitions or incorporations of existing hotels. The purpose is at least, to duplicate the size of the initial portfolio, creating a Spanish resort portfolio managed by different leading hotel operators.

According to Concha Osácar, “our objective and that of our partner Barceló, is that the new entity becomes the first listed REIT focused solely on hotel resorts, with a diversified portfolio in terms of hotel operators, and a steady income base, through lease contracts with a strong fixed income component and enough exposure to the future increase of the Spanish tourism market. The objective of the new REIT for Hispania and Barceló, is to become an instrument with which to attract institutional capital for the Spanish hotel industry, creating new sources of capital for the hotel industry”.

From Barceló’s perspective, “as a result of this transaction, we are creating a solid alliance with one of the most active investors in the industry”. According to Barceló’s CEO, Raúl González, “after this transaction we will be in leading position to benefit from the concentration process that should take place in the Spanish hotel industry”.

Hispania has invested a total of 112 million euros, including capex for 2015, in 6 hotels (5 acquired in 2014 and 1 in 2015) managed by different hotel operators (Meliá, NH and Vincci), which could be included into the new REIT; this decision will be made by the partners during the second half of 2015.

Hispania will have invested 100% of the net proceeds raised

With this agreement, Hispania will have committed a total investment of c. 800 million euros in a total of 44 assets since its IPO on 14 March 2014.

Original press release: Hispania

Edited by: Carmel Drake